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Old and New London: 


Its History, its People, and its Places. 

JUujStratfD toititi nunnroiw ®ngcat)(ng5 from tijc mo^t Qiwt^tmt "Source^. 




VOL. V. 

Cassell Petter & GaLPIN: 








Prefatory Remarks— The Building of the District— De Moret, and his Flying-machine— Nature of the Soil of Belgravia—" Slender Billy" 
—The Spanish Monkey "Mukako" and Tom Cribb's Fighting Dogs— The Orosvenor Family— Enormous Rent-rolls — Belgravia and 
Bethnal Green compared— Lanesborough House— St. George's Hospital— Old "Tattersall's" — St. George's Place— Liston, the Comedian 
— Pope's School-days— The Alexandra Hotel— The Old Toll-gate at Hyde Park Corner— Grosvenor Place— The " Feathers" Tayem, 
and how George Prince of Wales was made an Odd Fellow there — Arabella Row— A Witty Lord Chancellor— The " Bag o' Nails " — 
The "Three Compasses"— Belgrave Square— "Gentleman Jones "—Eccleston Street— Sir Francis Chantrey— St. Paul's Church, 
Wilton Place — The Pantechnicon— Halkin Street— Upper and Lower Belgrave Streets— Suicide of Lord Munster— Eaton Square — Chester 
Square— Ebury Street— Lowndes Square— Cadogan Place— William Wilberforce— The Locality in Former Times I 



Derivation of the Name of Knightsbridge— Early History of the Locality— The Old Bridge— Insecurity of the Roads, and Bad Reputation of 
the Innkeepers — Historical Events connected with Knightsbridge — The Old ".Swan" Inn — Electioneering Riots— An Eccentric Old 
Lady— The " Spring Garden " and the " World's End "—Knightsbridge Grove— Mrs. Comelys as a Vendor of Asses' Milk— Albert 
Gate — The "Fox and Bull"— The French Embassy— George Hudson, the "Railway King" — The Cannon Brewery— Dunn's Chinese 
Gallery— Trinity Chapel and the Lazar House— " Irregular " Marriages— Knightsbridge Barracks— Smith and Barber's Floor-cloth 
Manufactory — Edward Stirling, the " Thunderer" of the Times — Kent House — Kingston House— Rutland Gate — Ennismore Place — 
BromptoH Oratory— Brompton Church— Count Rumford and other Distinguished Resident.s — New " Tattersall's " — The Green — 
Chalker House— The " and Crown " Inn — The " Rising Sun " — Knightsbridge Cattle Market I r 



Previous Exhibitions of a somewhat similar Character — The Marquis d'Aveze's projected Exhibition — Various French Expositions— Competitive 
Exhibitions in England — Prince Albert's Proposal for holding an Industrial Exhibition of All Nations— His Royal Highness becomes 
Chairman of the Royal Commission— Banquet at the Mansion House— Lecturers and Agents sent all over the Country, to Explain 
the Objects of the Exhibition— Reception of Plans and Designs — Mr. Paxton's Design accepted — Realisation of one of the Earliest 
Poetical Dreams in the English Language— General Description of the Building— Opening of the Exhibition by Her Majesty- 
Number of Visitors — Removal of the Building— The National Albert Memorial 28 


Etymology of Pimlico— The Locality Half a Century Ago — Warwick Square— Vauxhall Bridge Road— The Army Clothing Depot— St. 
George's Square— The Church of St. James the Less— Victoria Railway Station— New Chelsea Bridge— The Western Pumping Station, 
and Metropolitan Main-Drainage Works— St. Barnabas Church — St. Barnabas Mission House and Orphanage — Bramah, the Engineer 
and Locksmith— Thomas Cubitt, the Builder— The " Monster" Tavern— The "Gun," the "Star and Garter," and the "Orange" Tea- 
Gardens— " Jenny's Whim"— Tart Hall— Stafford Row— St. Peter's Chapel and Dr. Dodd— Richard Heber and his famous Library' . 30 



Boundary of the Parish— Etymology of its Name— Charies II. and Colonel Blood— Chelsea Fields— The "Dwarfs Tavern "—Chapels of 
French Huguenot Refugees— Gardens and Nurseries— Appearance of Chelsea from the River— Chelsea in the Last Century— A Stag 



Hunt in Chelsea — History of the Manor — The Old Manor House and its Eminent Residents— Lord Cremorne's Farm'at Chelsea — Lady 
Cremorne— Lindsey House— The Moravians— The Duchess of Mazarine — Sir Robert Walpole's House— Shrewsbury House— Winchester 
House— Beaufort House and the " Good " Sir Thomas More— Anecdotes of Sir Thomas More— The Old and New Parish Churches . 50 


CHELSEA {continued). 

Cheyne Walk— An Eccentric Miser— Dominicetti, an Italian Quack— Don Saltero's Coffee House and Museum— Catalogue of Rarities in 
the Museum— Thomas Carlyle— Chelsea Embankment— Albert Bridge— The Mulberry Garden— The " Swan" Inn— The Rowuig 
Matches for Doggett's Coat and Badge — The Botanic Gardens— The Old Bunhouse 29 


CHELSEA [conti7iucd)—i:YUL HOSPITAL. &C. 

Foundation of the Hospital — The Story of Nell Gv^-ynne and the Wounded Soldier — Chelsea College — Ardibishop Bancroft's Legacy — Trans- 
ference of the College to the Royal Society — The Property sold to Sir Stephen Fox, and afterwards given as a Site for the Hospital — 
Lord Ranelagh's Mansion — Dr. Monsey — The Chudleigh Family — The Royal Hospital described — Lying in State of the Duke of 
Wellington — Regulations for the Admission of Pensioners — A few Veritable Centenarians — The " Snow Shoes " Tavern— The Duke of 
York's School — Ranelagh Gardens, and its Former Glories — The Victoria Hospital for Sick Children 70 


CHELSEA {continued).— <Z'RYMQ'R.-i\^ GARDENS, &C. 

Chelsea Farm, the Residence of Lord Cremorne — Cremorne Gardens — Attempts at Aerial Navigation— Ashburnham House — The Ash- 
bumham Tournament — The "Captive" Balloon — Turner's Last Home — Noted Residents in Lindsey Row— The King's Road — The Old 
Burial-ground — St. Mark's College — The "World's End " Tavern— Chelsea Common — Famous Nurseries — Chelsea Park — The "Goat 
in Boots" — The Queen's Elm — The Jews' Burial-ground — Shaftesbury House — The Workhouse — Sir John Cope — Robert Boyle, the 
Philosopher and Chemist — The Earl of Orrery — Mr. Adrian Haworth — Dr. Atterbury — Shadwell, the Poet — The "White Horse" 
Inn — Mr. H. S. Woodfall — The Original of "Strap the Barber" in "Roderick Random" — Danvers Street — Justice Walk — The Old 
Wesleyan Chapel — Chelsea China — Lawrence Street — Tobias Smollett — Old Chelsea Stage-coaches — Sir Richard Steele and other Noted 
Residents — The Old Clock-house — The Glaciarium — Hospital for Diseases of Women — Chelsea Vestrj- Hall, and Literary and Scientific 
Institution — Congregational Church — Royal Avenue Skating-rink — Sloane Square — Bloody Bridge — Chelsea, Brompton, and Belgrave 
Dispensary — Royal Court Theatre — Hans Town — Sloane Street — Trinity Church — Sloane Terrace Wesleyan Chapel — Sir C. W. Dilke, 
Bart. — Ladies' Work Society — Hans Town School of Industry for Girls — "Count Cagliostro " — An Anecdote of Professor Porson — 
Chelsea — St. Mary's Roman Catholic Chapel — The "Marlborough Tavern" — Hans Place— IMiss Letitia E. Landon — The 
Pavilion — St. Saviour's Church — Prince's Cricket-ground and Skating-rink — The " South Australian" . S4 



Situation of Brompton — Its Nurseries and Flower-gardens — Cromwell or Hale House — Thistle Grove — The Boltons — ^Westminster and West 
London Cemetery- — Brompton Hall — St. Michael's Grove — Brompton Grove — John Sidney Hawkins — Gloucester Lodge — The Hospital 
for Consumption — The Cancer Hospital — Pelham Crescent — Onslow Square — Eagle Lodge — Thurloe Place and Square — Cromwell 
Road — The International Exhibition of 1S62— Annual International Exhibitions— A School of Cookery — Exhibition of Scientific Appa- 
ratus — The National Portrait Gallery — The Meyrick Collection of Arms and Armour — The Indian Museum — South Kensington Museum 
— The Raphael Cartoons — The Sheepshanks, Ellison, and Vernon Galleries — Ancient and Modern Jewellery — The Museum of Patents 
— The Science and Art Schools — The Royal Albert Hall — The National Training School for Music — Royal Horticultural Gardens . . ico 



Descent of the Manor — A Parochial Enigma— Derivation of the Name of Kensington — Thackeray's "Esmond" — Leigh Hunt's Reminis- 
cences — Gore House — Mr. Wilberforce, the Philanthropist — Lord Rodney— The Countess of Blessington and her Admirers — An 
Anecdote of Louis Napoleon — Count D'Orsay's Picture — A Touching Incident — Sale of the Contents of Gore Hoiise, and Death of the 
Countess of Blessington — M. Soyer's "Symposium" — Sale of the Gore House Estate — Park House — Hamilton Lodge, the Residence 
of John Wilkes — Batty's Hippodrome — St. Stephen's Church — Orford Lodge — Christ Church Hjr 


KENSINGTON {continued). 

The Old Court Suburb— Pepys at " Kingly Kensington " — The High Street — Thacker.ay's " Esmond " — Palace Gate — Colby House— Singular 
Death— Kensington House : its Early Historj' — Famous Inhabitants — Old Kensington Bedlam- The New House— Young Street— Ken- 
sington Square — Famous Inhabitants — Talleyrand — An Aged Waltzer — Macaulay's Description of Talleyrand — The New Parish Church 
— The Old Building — The Monumcnt.s — The Bells — The Parish Registers — The Charily School — Campden House — "The Dogs"— Sir 
James South's Observatorj- — A Smgular Sale — Other Noted Residents at Kensington — Insecurity of the Kensington Road — A Remark- 
able Dramatic Performance — A Ghost Stor>- — The Crippled Boys' Home — Scarsdale House — The Roman Catholic University College 
—Roman Catholic Chapels— The Pro-Cathedral — The " Adam and Eve " I23 



Situation of Kensington Palace — Houses near it— Kensington Palace Gardens— The " King's Arms "—Henry VIlI.'s Conduit— Palace Green 
— The Kensington Volunteers — The Water Tower — Thackeray's House : his Death— Description of the Palace— The Chapel — The 
Principal Pictures formerly shown here — Early History of the Building — William III. and Dr. Radcltffe — A "Scene" in the Royal 
Apartments — Death of Queen Mary and William HI.— Queen Anne and the Jacobites— '• Scholar Dick," and his Fondness for the 
Bottle— Lax Manners of the Court under the Early Geor^ges— Death of George II.— 'ITie Princess Sophia— Caroline, Princess of Wales 
—Balls and Parties given by her RojTil Highness— An Undignified Act— The Duke of Sussex's Hospitality— Birth of the Princess 
Victoria — Her Baptism — Death of William IV., and Accession of Queen Victoria — Her First Council — Death of the Duke of Su.ssex — 
The Duchess of Inverness— Other Royal Inhabitants j-S 



" Jlilitary " Appearance of the Gardens, as laid out by Wise and Loudon — .\ddison's Comments on the Horticultural Improvements of his 
Time — The Gardens as they appeared at the Beginning of the Last Century — Queen Anne's Banqueting House — Statue of Dr. Jcnner — 
Bridgeman's Additions to the Gardens — The "Hal ha!" — " Capability " Brown — The Gardens first opened to the Public — A 
Foreigner's Opinion of Ken.sington Gardens — "Tommy Hill" and John Poole — Introduction of Rare Plants and Shrubs — Scotch Pines 
and other Trees — A Friendly of Lightning — The Reser\'oir and Fountains — Tickell, and his Poem on Kensington Gardens — 
Chateaubriand — Introduction of Hooped Petticoats — The Broad Walk becomes a Fashionable Promenade — Eccentricities in Costume — 
The Childhood of Queen Victoria, and her Early Intercourse with her Future Subjects — A Critical Review of the Gardens . . -1^2 


Earl's Court — John Hunter's House — Mrs. Inchbald — Edwardcs Square — Warwick Road and Warwick Gardens — Addison Road — Holland 
House — An Antique Relic — The Pictures and Curiosities — The Library' — The Rooms occupied by Addison, Charles Fox, Rogers, and 
Sheridan — Holland House under the Family of Rich — Theatrical Performances carried on by Stealth during the Commonwealth — 
Subsequent Owners of the Mansion — Oliver Goldsmith — -Addison — The House purchased by Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland — The 
Story of Henry Fox's Elopement with the Daughter of the Duke of Richmond — Lady Sarah Lennox and the Private Theatricals — 
Charles James Fo.k — Henry Richard, third Lord Holland, and his Imperious Wife— Lord Macaulay, and other Distinguished Guests — 
" Who is Junius ? " — Lord Holland and the Emperor Napoleon — Death of Lord Holland, and his Character, as written by a Friend — 
A Curious Custom — The Duel between Lord Camelford and Captain Best — Rogers' Grotto — The Gardens and Grounds — Canova's Bust 
of Napoleon — The Highland and Scottish Societies' Sports and Pastimes — A Tradition concerning Cromwell and Ireton — Little 
Holland House — The Residence of General Fox — The Nursery-grounds l6l 



The Old Turnpike Gate— Derivation of the Name of Notting Hill — The Manor of Netting or Nutting Bams— Present A.spect of Netting Hill — 
Old Inns and Taverns — Gallows Close — The Road where Lord Holland drew up his Forces previous to the Battle of Brentford — 
Kensington Gravel Pits — Tradesmen's Tokens— A Favourite Locality for Artists and Laundresses — Appearance of the District at the 
Beginning of the Present Century — Reservoirs of the Grand Junction Waterworks Company — Ladbroke Square and Grove — Ken- 
sington Park Gardens — St. John's Church — Notting Hill Farm— Norland Square — Orme Square — Bayswater House, the Residence of 
Fauntleroy, the Forger— St. Petersburgh Place — The Hippodrome— St. Stephen's Church— Portobello Farm— The Convent of the Little 
Sisters of the Poor— Bayswater — The Cultivation of Watercresses— An Ancient Conduit— Public Tea Gardens— Sir John Hill, the 
Botanist— Craven House— Craven Road, and Craven Hill Gardens— The Pest-house Fields— Upton Farm— The Toxophilite Society— 
Westbourne Grove and Terrace— The Residence of John Sadleir, the Fraudulent MP.— Lancaster Gate — The Pioneer of Tramways- 
Queen Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital— Death of Dr. Adam Clarke— The Burial-ground of St. George's, Hanover Square . -177 


Derivation of the Name of Tyburn — Earliest Executions on this Spot— Sir Roger Bolinbroke, the Conjuror — Elizabeth Barton, the "Holy 
Maid of Kent " — Execution of Roman Catholics— Morocco Men — Mrs. Turner, the Poisoner, and Inventor of the Yellow Starched Ruffs 
and Cuffs — Resuscitation of a Criminal after Execution — Colonel Blood — Jack Sheppard and Jonathan Wild — Mrs. Catherine Hayes 
— " Clever Tom Clinch" — " Execution Day" — The Execution of Lord Ferrers — The Rev. Mr. Hackman — Dr. Dodd — The Last Act of 
a Highwayman's Life — " Sixteen-string Jack " — McLean, the " Fashionable Highwayman " — Claude Duval— John Twyn, an Offending 
Printer — John Haynes, and his Resuscitation after Hanging — Ryland, the Forger — An Unlucky Jest — "Jack Ketch" — Tyburn Tickets 
— Hogarth's "Tom Idle" — The Gallows and its Surroundings — The Story of the Penance of Queen Henrietta Maria — An Anecdote 
about George III.— The Site of Tyburn Tree— The Tyburn Pew-opener— Tybumia—Connaught Place— The Princess Chariotte and 
the Prince of Orange— The Residence of Mr. T. Assheton- Smith, and of Haydon the Painter l8S 



Rustic Appearance of Paddington at the Commencement of this Century— Intellectual Condition of the Inhabitants— Gradual Increase of 
the Population— The Manor of Paddington— The Feast of Abbot Walter, of Westminster— The Prior of St. Bartholomew's and his 
Brethren— Dr. Sheldon's Claim of the Manor— The Old Parish Church— Hogarth's Marriage— Building of the New Parish Church— A 



Curious Custom — Poorness of the Li\'in;; — The Burial-ground— Noted Persons buried here — Life of Haydon, the Painter Dr. Geddes 

The New Church of St. James— Holy Trinity Church — All Saints' Church — The House of the Notorious Richard Brothers — Old Public- 
houses- Old Paddmgton Green— The Vestry Hall — The Residences of Thomas Uwins, R.A., and Wyatt, the Sculptor — Eminent Residents 
— The Princess Charlotte and her Governess — Paddington House — " Jackin-the-Green " — Westbourne Place — Wcstbourne Green — Des- 

borough Place — Westbourne Farm, the Residence of Mrs. Siddons — The Lock Hospital and Asylum — St. Mary's Hospital Paddinoton 

Provident Di.<;pensary— The Dudley-Stuart Home— " The Boatman's Chapel "—Queen's Park— Old Almshouses— Grand Junction Canal 
—The Western Water- Works— Imperial Gas Company— Kensal Green Cemetery— Eminent Persons buried here— Great Western 
Railway Terminus 


Proposal of a Scheme for Underground Railways— Difficulties and Oppositions it had to encounter— Commencement of the Undertaking- 
Irruption of the Fleet Ditch— Opening of the Metropolitan Railway— Influ.x of Bills to Parliament for the Formation of other Under- 
ground Lines— Adoption of the " Inner Circle" Plan — Description of the MetropoUtan Railway and its Stations — The " Nursery-maids' 
Walk " — A Great Triumph of Engineering Skill — Extension of the Line from Moorgate Street— The East London Railway — Engines 
and Carriages, and Mode of Lighting — Signalling— Ventilation of the Tunnel — Description of the Metropolitan District Railway — 
Workmen's Trains— The Water Supply and Drainage of London — Subways for Gas, Sewage, and other Purposes 224 



Rural Aspect of Kilbum in Former Times — Maida Vale — Derivation of the Name of Kilbum — The Old Road to Kilburn— Godwin, the Hermit 
of Kilburn— The Priory — Extracts from the Inventory of the Priory — The Sisterhood of St. Peter's — St. Augustine's Church — Kilburn 
Wells and Tea-gardens — The " Bell " Tavern — A Legend of Kilburn — The Roman CathoUc Chapel — George Brummell's liking for Plum 
Cake— Oliver Goldsmith's Suburban Quarters — Lausanne Cottage — St. John's Wood — Babington,' the Conspirator — Sir Edwm Landseer 
— Thomas Landseer — George Osbaldiston and other Residents in St. John's Wood — Lord's Cricket Ground— The " Eyre Arms" Tavern 
— Charitable Institutions — Roman Catholic Chapel of Our Lady— St. Mark's Church — St. John's Wood Chapel and Burial-ground — 
Richard Brothers and Joanna Southcott 2/3 



North Bank and South Bank — Rural Aspect of the Neighbourhood Haifa Century Ago — Marylebone Park — Taverns and Tea-gardens — The 
" Queen's Head and Artichoke " — The " Harp " — The," Farthing Pie House " — The " Yorkshire Stingo " — The Introduction of London 
Omnibuses by Mr. Shillibeer — Marj-lebone Baths and Washhouses— Queen Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital — The New Road — The 
Paddington Stage-Coach — A Proposed Boulevard round the Outskirts of London — Dangers of the Road — Lisson Grove— The Philo- 
logical School — A Favourite Locality for Artists — John Martin, R.A. — Chapel Street — Leigh Hunt — Church Street — The Royal Alfred 
Theatre — Metropolitan Music-Hail — Portman Market — Blandford Square — The Convent of the Sisters of Mercy — Michael Faraday as a 
Bookbinder — Harewood Square — Dorset Square — The Original " Lord's " Cricket-Ground — Upper Baker Street — Mrs. Siddons' 
Residence — The Notorious Richard Brothers — Invention of the " Tilbury " . . , -^54 



Rural Character of the Site in Former Times — A Royal Hunting-ground — The Original Estate disparked — Purchased from the Property of 
the Duke of Portland — Commencement of the Present Park — The Park thrown open to the Public— Proposed Palace for the Prince 
Regent — Description of the Grounds and Ornamental Waters — The Broad Walk — Italian Gardens and Lady Burdett-Coutts' Drinking- 
Fountain — The Sunday Afternoon Band — Terraces and Villas — Lord Hertford and the Giants from St. Dunstan's Church — Mr. Bishop's 
Observatory — Explosion on the Regent's Canal — The Baptist College— Mr. James Silk Buckingham — Ugo Foscolo — Park Square — Sir 
Peter Laurie a Resident here — The Diorama — The Building turned into a Baptist Chapel — The Colosseum — The Great Panorama of 
London — The " Glaciarium " — The Cyclorama of Lisbon — St. Katharine's College — The Adult Orphj.n Institution — Chester Terrace and 
Chester Place— Mrs. Fitzherbert's Villa — The Grounds of the Toxophilite Society — The Royal Botanical Society— The Zoological 
Gardens 262 



Situation of Primrose Hill, and its Appearance in Bygone Times — Barrow Hill and the West Middlesex Waterworks — The Manor of Chalcot — 
Murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey — Duel between Ugo Foscolo and* Graham — Primrose Hill purchased by the Crown, and made a 
Park for the People — The Tunnel through the Hill — Fireworks in Celebration ef the Peace in 1856 — The Shakespeare Oak — Lady 
Byron's Residence — Chalk Farm — Duels fought there — The Wrestling Club of Cumberland and Westmoreland — The Eccentric Lord 
Coleraine — The Old Chalk Farm Tavern — The Railway Station — Pickford's Goods Depot — The Boys' Home — The " York and Albany" 
Tavern— Gloucester Gate — Albany Street — The Guards' Barracks — Park Village East — Cumberland Market — Munster Square— Osna- 
burgh Street— Sir Goldsworthy Gurney — The " Queen's Head and Artichoke" — Trinity Church 287 



Pastoral Character of the Locality in the Last Century— The Euston Road— Statuary-yards— The "Adam and Eve" Tavern— Its Tea- 
gardens and its Cakes and Creams — A "Strange and Wonderful Fruit" — Hogarth's Picture of the "March of the Guards to 
Finchley" — The "Paddington Drag"— A Miniature Menagerie- A Spring-water Bath— Eden Street— Hampstead Road— The "Sol's 




Arms "Tavern— David Wilkie's Residence— Granby Street— Mornington Crescent— Charles Dickens'.School-days— Clarkson Stanfield— 
George Cruikshank— The "Old King's Head" Tavern— Tolmer's Square— Drummond Street— St. James's Episcopal Chapel — St. 
Pancras Female Charity School — The Original Distillery of "Old Tom" — Bedford New Town— Ampthill Square— The "Infant 
Roscius " — Harrington Square iq^ 



Camden Town— Statue of Richard Cobden— Oakley Square— The " Bedford Arms"— The Royal Park Theatre— The " Mother Red Cap"— 
The "Mother Shipton " — The Alderney Dairy— The Grand Junction Canal— Bayham Street, and its Former Inhabitants — Camden 
Road— Camden Town Railway Station— The Tailors' Almshouses — St. Pancras Almshouses — Maitland Park— The Orphan Working 
School — The Dominican Monastery — Gospel Oak — St. Martin's Church — Kentish Town : its Buildings and its Residents— Great College 
Street— The Royal Veterinary College— Pratt Street — Sl Stephen's Church— Sir Henry Bishop— Agar Town ->Oq 



Biographical Sketch of St. Pancras — Churches bearing his Name— Corruption of the Name— The Neighbourhood of St. Pancras in Former 
Times— Population of the Parish — Ancient Manors — Desolate Condition of the Locality in the Si.vteenth Century — Notices of the Manors 
in Domesday.Book and Early Surveys— The Fleet River and its Occasional Floods— The " Elephant and Castle " Tavern — The Work- 
house — The Vestry — Old St. Pancras Church and its .Antiquarian Associations — Celebrated Persons interred in the Churchyard Ned 

Ward'sWill—Father.O'Leary—Chatterton's Visit to the Churhyard — Mary WoUstoncraft Godwin — Roman Catholic Burials — St. Giles's 
Burial-ground and the Midland Railway— Wholesale Desecration of the Graveyards — The "Adam and Eve" Tavern and Tea- 
gardens — St. Pancras Wells — Antiquitiesof the Parish— Extensive Demolition of Houses for the Midland Railway -524 



Gradual Rise and Decline of Somers Town— The Place largely Colonised by' Foreigners —A Modern Miracle— Skinner Street— The Brill— A 
Wholesale' Clearance 'of Dwelling-houses — Ossulston Street— Charlton Street— The "Coffee House" — Clarendon Square and the 
Polygon — Mary WoUstoncraft Godwin— The Chapel of St. Aloysius— The Abbe Carron — The Rev. John Nerinckx— Seymour Street — 
The Railway Cleaiing House — The Euston Day Schools — St. Mary's Episcopal Chapel — Drummond Street — The Railway Benevolent 
Institution — The London and North- Western Railway Terminus— Euston Square — Dr. Wolcot (Peter Pindar)— The Euston Road — 
Cower Street— Sir George Rose and Jack Bannister — N«w St. Pancras Church — The Rev. Thomas Dale— Woburn Place . 740 



Establishment of the Hospital by Captain Coram in Hatton Garden — Its Removal to Lamb's Conduit Fields — Parliamentary GraiU to the 
Hospital — Wholesale Admission of Children — Tokens for the Identification of Children deposited in the Hospital — Withdrawal of the 
Parliamentary Grant — Rules and Regulations — Form of Petition for the Admission of Children— Baptism of the Infants — Wet-nurses 
— Education of the Children — Expenditure of the Establishment— Extracts from the Report of the Royal Commission — Origin of the 
Royal Academy of Arts— Hogarth's Liberality to the Institution— His " March of the Guards to Finchley Common"— The Picture 
Gallery — The Chapel — Handel's Benefactions to the Hospital — Lamb's Conduit Fields— Biographical Notice of Captain Coram — 
Hunter Street— A Domestic Episode in High Life— Tonbridge Chapel— The British College of Health i-,, 



Origin of the Midland Railway— Agar Town as" it was— A Good Clearance — Underground Operations for the Construction of the Midland 
Railway and Terminus— Re-interment of a Roman Catholic Dignitary— The Midland Railway — Mr. William Agar— Tom Sayers, the 
Pugilist— The English " Connemara "— A Monster Hotel— The Midland Terminus: Vast Size of the Roof of the Station— A Railway 
Goods Bank— The Imperial Gas Works— York Road -,g^ 


The Work of an Amiable Hermit— Copenhagen Fields— The New Cattle Market— Our Meat Supply— The " Brecknock Arms " Tavem— Duel 
between iColonel Fawcett and Lieutenant Munro— The City Prison— The Camden Town Athenaeum— The New Jerusalem Church— 
Holloway Congregational Chapel— Seven Sisters' Road— HoUoway Hall— The Old "Half Moon" and "Mother Red Cap" Taverns— 
St. Saviour's Hospital and Refuge for Women and Children— St. John's Church— The "Archway" Tavern— Dangers of the Roads- 
Descendants of the Poet Milton— The Larar House— The Small-pox Hospital— Whittington's Stone— Whittington's— 
Benefactions of Sir Richard Whittington 




Population of Highgate at the Commencement of the Century— The Heights of Highgate— The Old Roadway— Erection of the Gate- 
Healthiness of the'Locality— Growthof London Northwards— Highgate Hill— Roman Catholic Schools— St. Joseph's Retreat—" Father 
Ignatius "—The " Black Dog " Tavern— Highgate Infirmary— The " Old Crown " Tavem and Tea-gardens— Winchester Hall— Homsey 
Lane— Highgate Archway— The Archway Road— The " Woodman " Tavern— The Alexandra Orphanage for Infants— Asylum of the 



Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society — Lauderdale House— Anecdote of Nell Gwynne — The Duchess of St. Albans — Andrew Marvell's 
Cottage — Cromwell House — Convalescent ; Hospital for Sick Children — Arandell House — The Flight of Arabella Stuart — Death of 
Lord Bacon — Fairseat, the Residence of Sir Sydney Waterlow '•go 

H I G H G A T E (continued). 

Swaine's Lane — Traitors' Hill, or Parliament Hill— St. Anne's Church, Brookfield — Dr. Coysh — Highgate Cemetery — Arrangement of the 
Ground — The Catacombs — A Stroll among the Tombs — Eminent Persons buried here — Stray Notes on Cemeteries — Sir William Ashurst's 
Mansion — Charles Mathews, the Actor — Anecdotes of Mathews — Ivy Cottage — Holly Lodge, the Residence of Lady Burdett-Coutts — 
Holly Village — Highgate Pcnds — The " Fox and Crown" Public-house — West Hill Lodge — The Hermitage 405 


HIGHGATE {continued). 

Charles Knight — Sir John Wollaston— The Custom of " Swearing on the Horns" — Mr. Mark Boyd's Reminiscence of this Curious Cere- 
monial — A Poetical Version of the Proceedings — Old Taverns at Highgate — The "Angel Inn" — The Sunday Ordinary — A Touching 
Story — I'he Chapel and School of Highgate — Tomb of Coleridge, the Poet — Sir Roger Cholmeley, the Founder of the Grammar 
School — Southwood Lane — The Almshouses — Park House — St. ^lichael's Church — Tablet erected to Coleridge — Fitzroy House — Mrs. 
Caroline Chisholm — Dr. Sacheverel — Dorchester House — Coleridge's Residence — The Grove — Anecdote of Hogarth — Sir John Hawkins' 
House— A Proclamation in the Time of Henry VIII.— North Hill— The "Bull Inn" 41-j 



Etymology of Homsey— Its Situation and Gradual Growth— The Manor of Hornsey — Lodge Hill— The Bishops' Park— Historical Memora- 
bilia — The New River — Hornsey Wood and " Hornsey Wood House " — An Incident in the Life of Crabbe— Finsbury Park— Appearance 
of this District at the Commencement of the Present Century — Mount Pleasant— Hornsey Church — The Grave of Samuel Rogers, Author 
of " The Pleasures of Memory " — A Nervous -Man— Lalla Rookh Cottage— Thomas Moore— Muswell Hill— The Alexandra Palace 
and Park — Neighbourhood of Muswell Hill, as seen from its Summit — Noted Residents at Hornsey — Crouch End 42S 



The Etymology and Early History of Hampstead — "Hot Gospellers "^The Hollow Tree — An Inland Watering-place — Caen Wood Towers — 
Dufferin Lodge — Origin of the Name of Caen (or Ken) Wood — Thomas Venner and the Fifth Monarchy Men — Caen Wood House and 
Grounds — Lord Mansfield — The House saved from a Riotous Attack by a Clever Ruse — Visit of William IV. — Highgate and H.-»mp- 
stead Ponds — The Fleet River — Bishop's Wood — The " Spaniards" — New Georgia— Erskine House — The Great Lord Erskine — Heath 
House — The Firs — North End — Lord Chatham's Gloomy Retirement — Wildwood House — Jackson, the Highwayman — Akenside— 
William Blake, the Artist and Poet— Coventry Patmore— Miss Meteyard— Sir T. Fowell Buxton— The "Bull and Bush" . . . 43S 



The View from the Heath — .\ttempted Encroachments by the Lord of the Manor — His Examination before a Committee of the House of 
Commons — Purchase of the Heath by the Metropolitan Board of Works as a Public Recreation-ground — The Donkeys and Donkey- 
drivers — Historic Memorabilia — Mr. Hoare's House, and Crabbe's Visits there — The Hampstead Coaches .in Former Times — Dickens's 
Partiality for Hampstead Heath — Jack Straw's Castle — The Race-course — Suicide of John Sadleir, M.P. — The Vale of Health — John 
Keats, Leigh Hunt, and Shelley — Hampstead Heath a Favourite Resort for Artists — Judge's Walk, or King's Bench Avenue — The 
" Upper Flask " — Sir Richard Steele and the Kit- Kat Club — " Clarissa Harlowe " 4J.9 


HAMPSTEAD {continued).— TWY. TOWN. 

Description of the Town— Heath Street— The Baptist Chapel — Whitefield's Preaching at Hampstead— The Public Library — Romnej', the 
Painter — The "Hollybush" — The Assembly Rooms — Agnes and Joanna Baillie — The Clock House — Branch Hill Lodge— The Fire 
Brigade Station — The " Lower Flask Inn" — Flask Walk — Fairs held thefe — The Militia Barracks — Mrs. Tennyson — Christ Church — 
The Wells — Concerts and Balls — Irregular Marriages — The Raffling Shops — Well Walk — John Constable — John Keats— Geological 
Formation of the Northern Heights 462 



Church Row— Fashionable Frequenters of "the Row "in the Last Century— Dr. Sherlock — Dr. John Arbuthnot — Dr. Anthony Askew — Dr. 
George Sewell — The Rev. Rochmont Barbauld — Mr. J. Park — Miss Lucy Aikin — Reformatory Schools— John Rogers Herbert — 
Henry Fuscli— Hannah Lightfoot — Charles Dickens— Charles Knight— An Artistic Gift rejected by Hampstead— The Parish Church — 
Repairs and Alterations in the Building — Eminent Incumbents — The Graves of Joanna Baillie, Sir James Mackintosh, John Constable, 
Lord Erskine, and Others — St. Mary's Roman Catholic Chapel — Grove Lodge and Montagu Grove — The Old Workhouse . . . 473 



HAMPSTEAD (coniinued). —ROSShYS HILL, &c. pagb 

Sailors' Orphan Girls' School and Home— Clarkson Stanfield —The Residence of the Longmans— Vane House, now the Soldiers' Daughters' 

fjojjie Bishop Butler — The "Red Lion" Inn — The Chicken House — Queen Elizabeth's House — Carlisle House — The Presbyterian 

Chapel— Mr. and Mrs. Barbauld — Rosslyn House — Lord Loughborough — Belsize Lane — Downshire Hill — Hampstead Green — Sir Row- 
land Hill— Sir Francis Palgrave— Kenmore House and the Rev. Edward Irving— St. Stephen's Church— The "George" Inn— The 
Hampstead Waterworks — Pond Street— The New Spa — The Small-pox Hospital— The Hampstead Town Hall — The "Load of Hay" 
—Sir Richard Steele's Cottage— Nancy Dawson— Moll King's House— Tunnels made under Rosslyn and Haverstock Hills . . . ^§2 



Grant of the Manor of Belsize to Westminster Abbey — Belsize Avenue — Old Belsize House— The Family of Waad— Lord Wotton — Pepys' 
Account of the Gardens of Belsize— The House attacked by Highway Robbers — A Zealous Protestant — Belsize converted into a 
Place of Public Amusement, and becomes an " Academy " for Dissipation and Lewdness — The House again becomes a Private 
Residence — The Right Hon. Spencer Perceval — Demolition of the House— The Murder of Mr. James Delarue — St. Peter's Church — 
Belsize Square — New College — The Shepherds' or Conduit Fields — Shepherds' Well — Leigh Hunt, Shelley, and Keats — Fitzjohn's 
Avenue — Finchley Road— Frognal Priory and Memorj'-Corner Thompson — Dr. Johnson and other Residents at Frognal — Oak Hill 
Park— Upper Terrace— West End— Rural Festivities— The Cemetery— Child's Hill— Concluding Remarks on Hampstead . . . 494 



Appearance of Haggerston in the Last Century— Cambridge Heath— Nova Scotia Gardens— Columbia Buildings— Columbia Market— The 
" New '■ Burial-ground of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch— Halley, the Astronomer— Nichols Square— St. Chad's Church— St. Mary's Church 
—Brunswick Square Almshouses— Mutton Lane— The " Cat and Mutton " Tavern— London Fields— The Hackney Bun-house— Gold- 
smiths' Row— The Goldsmiths' Almshouses— The North-Eastern Hospital for Sick Children— The Orphan Asylum, Bonner's Road- 
City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest— Bonner's Hall— Bishop Bonner's Fields— Botany Bay— Victoria Park— The East- 
enders' Fondness for Flowers— Amateur Yachting— The Jews' Burial-ground— The French Hospital— The Church of St. John of Jeru- 
salem — The Etymology of " Hackney " 5'-'5 



Hackney in the Last Century— Its Gradual Growth— Well Street— Hackney College— Monger's Almshouses— The Residence' of Dr. 
Frampton— St. John's Priory— St. John's Church— Mare Street— Hackney a Great Centre of Nonconformity— The Roman Catholic 
Church of St. John the Baptist— The " Flying Horse " Tavern— Elizabeth Fry's Refuge— Dr. Spurstowe's Almshouses— Hackney Town 
Hall— The New Line of the Great Eastern Railway— John Milton's Visits to Hackney— Barber's Bam— Loddidge's Nursery— Water- 
cress-beds— The Gravel-pit Meeting House— The Church House— The Parish Church— The "Three Cranes"— The Old Church Tower 
—The Churchyard— The New Church of St. John— The Black and ^Vhite House— Boarding Schools for Young Ladies— Sutton Place— 
The " Mermaid" Tavern—" Ward's Comer"— The Templars' House— Brooke House— Noted Residents at Hackney— Homerton— The 
City of London Union— Lower Clapton— John Howard, the Prison Reformer— The London Orphan Asylum— Metropolitan Asylum 
for Imbeciles — The Asylum for Deaf and Dumb Females — Concluding Remarks on Hackney ^12 



Kingsland Road— Harmer's Almshouses— Gefferey's Almshouses— The Almshouses of the Framework Knitters— Shoreditch Workhouse 
—St. Columb.-i's Church— Hoxton—" Pimlico "—Discovery of a Medicinal Spring— Charles Square— Aske's Hospital— Balmes, or 
Baumes House— The Practising Ground of the Artillery Company— De Beauvoir Town— The Tyssen Family— St. Peter's Church, 
De Beauvoir Square— The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St. Joseph— Ball's Pond— Kingsland— A Hospital for Lepers— 
Dalston — The Pefuge for Destitute Females — The German Hospital — Shackle well 5^4 



Stoke Newington in the Last Century— The Old Roman Road, called Ermine Street— Beaumont and Fletcher's Reference to May-day Doings 
at Newington in the Olden Times— Mildmay Park— The Village Green— Mildmay House— Remains of the King's House— King 
Henry's Walk— St. Jude's Church and the Conference Hall— Bishop's Place— The Residence of Samuel Rogers, the Poet— James 
Burgh's Academy— Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin— St. Matthias' Church— The New and Old Parish Churches— Sir John Hartopp and 
his Family— Queen Elizabeth's Walk— The Old Rectory House— The Green Lanes— Church Street— The House of Isaac D'Israeli— The 
School of Edgar Albn Poe— John Howard, the Prison Reformer— Sandford House— Defoe Street— Defoe's House— The Mansion of 
the Old Earls of Essex— The Manor House— Fleetwood Road— The Old " Rose and Crown "—The Residence of Dr. John Aikin and 
Mrs. Barbauld— The "Three Crowns"— The Reservoirs of the New River Company— Remarks on the Gradual Extension of London . 530 


Abney House — Sir Thomas and Lady Abney — The Visit of Dr. Isaac Watts to Abney House — His Library and Study — The Death of Dr. 
Watts — Sale of Abney Park, and the Formation of the Cemetery — Abney House converted into a School — Monument of Isaac Watts — 
The Tilound and Grotto in the Cemetery — Distinguished Personages buried here — Stamford Hill — Meeting of King James and the 
Lord Mayor at Stamford Hill — The River Lea — Izaak Walton and the " Complete Angler " 539 




The Division of the Parish into Wards— Extent and Boundaries of the Parish— Eariy History of Tottenham— The Manor owned by King 
David Bruce of Scotland— Other Owners of the Manor— The Village of Tottenham— The Hermitage and Chapel of St. Anne— 
The "Seven Sisters"— The Village Green— The High Cross— The River Lea at Tottenham— Bleak Hall— Old Almshouses— The 
"George and Vulture" — The Roman Catholic Chapel of St. Francis de Sales — Bruce Castle — The Parish Church — The Chapel and 
Well of St. Loy— Bishop's Well— White Hart Lane— Wood Green— Tottenham Wood— Concluding Remarks e^S 



The ''Bell" and " Johnny Gilpin's Ride " — Mrs. Gilpin on the Stile — How Cowper came to write "Johnny Gilpin" — A Supplement to the 
Story — Historic Reminiscences of the " Bell" at Edmonton — Charles Lamb's Visit there — Lamb's Residence at Edmonton — The Grave 
of Charles Lamb — Edmonton Church — The " Merry Devil of Edmonton " — The Witch of Edmonton — Archbishop Tillotson — Edmonton 
Fairs— Southgate — Amo's Grove — Bush Hill Park 564 



The River Lea— Bow Bridge— Stratford-atte-Bowe, and Chaucer's Allusion thereto— Construction of the Road through Stratford— Altera- 
tions and Repairs of the Bridge— Don Antonio Perez, and other Noted Residents at Stratford — The Parish Church of Stratford-le- 
Bow— The School and Market House— The Parish Workhouse— Bow and Bromley Institute— King John's Palace at Old Ford— St. 
John's Church— The Town Hall— West Ham Park— West Ham Abbey— Abbey Mill Pumping Station— Stratford New Town— The 
Great Eastern Railway Works — "Hudson Town" — West Ham Cemetery and Jews' Cemeterj'— St. Leonard's Convent, Bromley — 
The Chapel converted into a Parish Church — Bromley Church rebuilt — Allhallows' Church— The Church of St. Michael and all 
Angels — The Manor House — The Old Palace — Wesley House — The Old Jews' Cemetery — The Cit>' of London and Tower Hamlets 
Cemetery 57O 


Hampstead, from Kilbum Road 

Entrance to Old " Tattersall's '' 

St. George's Hospital, 1745 

Sale of Hyde Park Turnpike 

Interior of the Court-yard of Old "Tattersall's 

Map of Belgravia, 1814 

The Spring Garden, " World's End " 

Knightsbridge in 1820 

The " White Hart," Ivnightsbridge, 1820 

Kingston House, Knightsbridge . 

Court-yard of the "Rose and Crown," 182 

Exterior of the. Great Exhibition of 185 1 

Nave of the Great Exhibition of 1S51 . 

The Albert Memorial .... 

The "Monster" Tea-Gardens, 1S20 . 

"Jenny's Whim" Bridge, 1750 . 

The "Gun" Tavern, 1820 

The Old Chelsea Manor House . 

Cremorne Farm, 1829 

Old Mansions in Chelsea ... 

Cheyne W^alk and Cadogan Pier 

Carlyles House, Great Cheyne Row . 

The Botanical Gardens, Chelsea, 1790 

Thomas Carlyle. .... 

The Chelsea Bun House, iSio . 

Chelsea Hospital .... 

A Card of Invitation to Ranelagh 

The Rotunda, Ranelagh Gardens, in 1750 

Chelsea Waterworks, in 1750 

The " World's End," in 1790 . 

Chelsea Church, i860 

Old Chelsea in 1750 .... 

The "Black Lion," Church Street, Chelsea 

The Pavilion, Hans Place, in 1800 

Entrance to Brompton Cemetery 

The Consumption Hospital, Brompton 

The International Exhibition of 1S62 

The Court of the South Kensington Museum 

The Horticultural Gardens and Exhibition 

Interior of the Albert Hall . 

Old Gore House in 1830 . 

The Old Turnpike, Kensington, in 1S20 

The " Halfway House," Kensington, 1850 

Interior of Kensington Church, 1850 . 

Old Kensington Church, about 1750 . 

Old View of Kensington, about 1750 . 

Campden House, 1720 

Kensington High Street, in 1S60 

West Front of Kensington Palace 

Kensington Palace, from the Gardens . 

Henry VIII. 's Conduit 


















Queen Caroline's Drawing-Room, Kensington Palace 
Kensington in 1764. i^From Rocque's Map) 
The Round Pond, Kensington Gardens 
The Scotch Firs, Kensington Gardens 
The Flower Walks, Kensington Gardens . 
Outfall of Westbourne ..... 

Earl's Court Plouse (formerly John Hunter's House) 

Old Kensington 

Rogers' Seat and Inigo Jones' Gateway, Holland House 
Holland House ...... 

Holland House, from the North 
Grand Staircase, Holland House 
House at Craven Hill in 1760 .... 

Portobello Farm, 1S30 ..... 

The Bayswater Conduit in 1 79S . 

Netting Hill in 1750 

The Place of Execution, Tyburn, in 1730 . 
Execution of Lord Ferrers at Tyburn 
Connaught Place ...... 

The Idle Apprentice Executed at Tyburn . 
Paddington Canal, 1820 ..... 

The Patldington Canal, 1840 .... 

Map of Paddington, in 1815 .... 

Paddington Green in 1750 .... 

Mrs. Siddons' House at Westbourne Green, 1800 
Paddington Church : 1750 and 1805 . 
The " Plough" at Kensal Green, 1820 
Kensal Green Cemetery ..... 

Trial Trip on the Underground Railway, 1863 . 
Entrance to the Clerkenwell Tunnel from Farringdon 


Interior of .Subway, Holbom Viaduct 

Section of the Holbom Viaduct, showing the Subway 

King's Cross Underground Station in 1868 

Section of the Thames Embankment, 1867 

The "Bell Inn," Kilbum, 1750 

The Priory, Kilbum, 1750. 

Lord's Ground in 1837 

The "Eyre Arms" in 1820 

The " Queen's Head and Artichoke " 

Lisson Green in the Eighteenth Century 

Farm in the Regent's Park, 1750 

The Holme, Regent's Park 

CHd Bridge over the Lake, Regent's Park, 

The Colosseum in 1827 

St. Katharine's Hospital . 

The Botanical Gardens, Regent's Park 

Entrance to the Zoological Gardens in 1S40 

The Monkey House, and Houses for the Camivora 

Medal to Commemorate the Murder of Godfrey . 

Primrose HiU in 1780 

in 1817 


Old Chalk Farm in 1 730 . 

Trinity Church, Albany Street . 

Sir Richard Steele's House, Ilaverstock Hill 

Ground Plan of New Road, from Ishngton to 

Road (1755) 

Camden Town, from the Hampstead Road, 

bone, 1780 

H. W. Betty (the Infant Roscius) 

Turnpike in the Hampstead Road, and St. J; 

Church, in 1820 

The old "Mother Red Cap," in 1746 

The Assembly Rooms, Kentish Town, 1750 

The "Castle" Tavern, Kentish Town Road, in 

General View of Old Kentish Town, 1820 . 

The Royal Veterinary College, 1825 . 

The Fleet River, near St. Pancras, 1825 . 

Fortifications of Old St. Pancras 

St. Pancras Church in 1820 

St. Pancras Wells and Church, in 1700 

Dr. Stukeley's Plan of the Camp at St. Pancras 

The "Brill," Somers Towm, in 1780 . 

The Polygon, Somers Town, in 1850 

Entrance to Euston Square Station 

New .St. Pancras Church .... 

Gateway of the Foundling Hospital . 

Front of the Foundling Hospital 

Interior of the Chapel of the Foundling Hospital 

The Small-pox Hospital, King's Cross, in 1800 

Councillor Agar's House, Somers Town, in 1830 

Front of St. Pancras Station and Hotel 

The Dust Heaps, Somers Town, in 1836 

The " Seven Sisters," in 1830 . 

Claude Duval's House, in 1825 . 

Highgate, from Upper HoUoway 

The Roman Road, Tufnell Park, in i 

Whittington's Stone in 1820 

The Gate House, Highgate, in 1820 

Highgate Archway Gate and Tavern, 

Lauderdale House, in 1820 

Marvell's House, 1825 

Staircase of Cromwell House, 1876 

View in Highgate Cemetery 

Cromwell House, Highgate 

Ivy Cottage, Highgate, 1825 

The "Old Crown Inn," Highgate, in 

Views in Highgate 

The Old Chapel, Highgate, 1830 

Dorchester House, 17CXD . 




in iS 











Homsey Wood House, iSoo 
Hornsey Church in 1 750 .... 
Map of Hornsey and Neighbourhood in 18 19. 
The Alexandra Palace, 1876 

The Vale of Health 

Caen Wood, Lord Mansfield's House, in 1785 

Highgate Ponds 

The " Spaniards," Hampstead Heath 

Jack Straw's Castle ..... 

Hampstead Heath in 1840 

The " Upper Flask," about 1800 

John Keats ...... 

Joanna Baillie 

The Old Well Walk, Hampstead, about 1750 

The Old Clock House, 1780 

Keats' Seat, Old Well Walk 

Old Houses in Church Row 

Church Row, Hampstead, in 1750 

Vane House in 1800 ..... 

Rosslyn House ...... 

Sir Richard Steele ..... 

View from "Moll King's House," Hampstead, 
Belsize House in 1800 .... 

Shepherd's Well in 1820 .... 

Frognal Priory ...... 

Pond Street, Hampstead, in 175° 

Columbia Market, Hackney 

Hackney, looking towards the Church, 1840 

Bits of Old Hackney 

Hackney Church, 1750 .... 
The Black and White House, 1800 . 
Howard's House at Clapton, about 1800 . 
Views in Kingsland ..... 
Balmes House in 1750 .... 
The Manor House, Dalston 
Stoke Newington Church, 1750 . 
Views in Stoke Newington 
The Old Rectory, Stoke Newington, in 1858 

Abney House, 1845 

Dr. Watts' Monument, Abney Park Cemetery 
Views on the River Lea .... 
Tottenham High Cross, 1820 

Bruce Castle 

Tottenham Church 

Views in Tottenham ..... 
The " Bell " at Edmonton .... 
Edmonton Church, 1790 .... 
Old Bow Bridge . . ' . 

















193-VoL. V, 



" 'Tis hard to say— such space the city wins — 
Where country ends and where the town begins." 

" Prohtiiones PauUii<e" 1876. 
Prefatory Remarks— The Ruilding of the District— De Moret, and 
his Flying-machine— Nature of the Soil of Belgravia— " Slender 
Billy"— The Spanish Monkey ".Mukako" and Tom Cribb's 
Fighting Dogs— The Grosvenor Family— Enormous Rent-rolls — ■ 
Eelgravia and Bethnal Green compared— Lanesborough House — 
St. George's Hospital— Old "Tattersall's"— St. George's Place 
— Liston, the Comedian— Pope's School-days— The Alexandra 
Hotel— The Old Toll-gate at Hyde Park. Corner— Grosvenor 
Place — The " Feathers " Tavern," and h ;.v George Prince of 
Wales was made an Odd Fellow there— Arabella Row— A Witty 
Lord Chancellor — The " Bag o' Nails " — The " Three Com- 
passes" — Belgrave Square — "Gentleman Jones" — Eccleston 
Street— Sir Francis Chantrey— St. Paul's Church, Wilton Place 
— The Pantechnicon — Halkin Street — Upper and Lower Belgrave 
Streets— Suicide of Lord Munster— Eaton Square— Chester 
Square — Ebur>- Street— Lowndes Square — Cadogan Place — 
William Wilberforce — The Locality in Former Times. 

y Y AVIXG, in the previous volume, completed 
AA our peregrination of what may be called 
the interior gyrus — the innermost circle — of 
the great metropolis, we may now venture on 
a somewhat wider journey afield, and roam 
over that portion of the next circle — but still 



far from the outermost of all — which, not above 
half a century ago, certainly was 7wt London, but 
as certainly now forms part of it. We hope, at 
all events, to find much that will be interesting 
to our readers even in modern " Belgravia ; "' but 
Knightsbridge and Paddington, Chelsea and Ken- 
sington, are each and all old enough to have his- 
tories of their own ; and the two last-named villages 
have played a conspicuous part in the annals of the 
Court under our Hanoverian sovereigns, and in 
those of the aristocracy for even a longer period. 

AVe purpose, therefore, to traverse in turn the 
fashionable area which has its centre fixed about 
Eaton and Belgrave Squares ; then the undefined 
region of Knightsbridge, and tliat portion of Hyde 
Park which lies to the south of the Serpentine, and 
formed the site of the first Great Exhibition of 1851. 
Then across Pimlico to Chelsea, rich in its memories 
of Sir Hans Sloane and Nell Gwynne \ to look in 
upon the household of good Sir Thomas More ; and 
to speak of Chelsea's famous bun-house, and its 
ancient cliina-ware. Next we shall visit Brompton, 
the •'• Montpelier " of the metropolis ; and then be oft" 
to the " old Court suburb " of Kensington, familiar 
to all Englishmen and Englishwomen as the home 
of William IH., and of most of our Hanoverian 
sovereigns, and dear to them as the birthplace of 
Queen Victoria. We shall linger for a time under 
the shade of the trees which compose its pleasant 
gardens, and call up the royal memories of nearly 
two centuries. Then, bearing westwards, we shall 
look in upon the long galleries of Holland House, 
and see the chamber in which Addison died, and 
the rooms in which Charles James Fox and the 
leading Whigs of the last three reigns talked politics 
and fashionable news ; thence to Percy Cross, and 
Walham Green and Parsons' Green, and to Fulham, 
for a thousand years the country seat of the Bishops 
of London both before and since the Reformation. 
Then we will saunter about the quaint old suburban 
village of Hammersmith, with its red-brick cottages 
and cedar-planted lawns, and so work our way 
round by way of Shepherd's Bush and Notting Hill 
— two names of truly rural sound — to Paddington 
and St. John's Wood — once the property of the 
Knights of St. John— and so to Kilburn, Hamp- 
.stead, and Higligate, and Camden and Kentish 
Towns, till we once more arrive at St. Pancras. 

Willi these few words by way of preface to the 
present volume, we again take our staff in hand, 
and turning our back on the '"congestion" of traftlc 
at Hyde Park Corner, which has come to be an 
object of legislation in Parliament, we turn our 
faces westward, and prepare to go on our way. 

The name of " Belgravia " was originally applied 

as a sobriquet to Belgrave and Eaton Squares and 
the streets radiating immediately from them, but is 
now received as a collective popular appellation of 
that " City of Palaces " which lies to the south- 
west of Hyde Park Corner, stretching away towards 
Pimlico and Chelsea. The district was first 1-aid out 
and built by Messrs. Cubitt, under a special Act 
of Parliament, passed in 1826, empowering Lord 
Grosvenor to drain the site, raise the level, and 
erect bars, &:c. " During the late reign — that of 
George IV.,'' observes a writer in 1831 — "Lord 
Grosvenor has built a new and elegant town on the 
site of fields of no healthy aspect, thus connecting 
London and Chelsea, and improving the western 
entrance to the metropolis, at a great expense." 

Where now rise Belgrave and Eaton Squares, the 
most fashionable in the metropolis, there was, 
down to about the year above mentioned, an 
open and rural space, known as the "Five Fields." 
It was infested, as recently as the beginning of the 
present century, by footpads and robbers. These 
fields formed the scene of one of the first, but 
unsuccessful, attempts at ballooning in London. 
De Moret, a Frenchman, and a bit of an adven- 
turer, proposed, in 1784, to ascend from some 
tea-gardens in this place, having attached to his 
balloon a car, not unlike some of the unwieldy 
summer-houses which may be seen in suburban 
gardens, and even provided wath wheels, so that, 
if needful, it could be used as a travelling carriage. 
"Whether," says Chambers, in his "Book of Days," 
" M. Moret ever really intended to attempt an 
ascent in such an unwieldy machine, has never 
been clearly ascertained. . . . However, having 
collected a considerable sum of money, he was 
preparing for his ascent, on the loth of August in 
that year, when his machine caught fire and was 
burnt; the unruly mob avenging their disappoint- 
ment by destroying the adjoining property. The 
adventurer himself mad.e a timely escape ; and a 
caricature of the day represents him flying off to 
Ostend with a bag of British guineas, leaving the 
Stockwell Ghost, the Bottle Conjurer, Elizabeth 
Canning, Mary Toft, and other cheats, enveloped in 
the smoke of his burning balloon." 

There was a time, and not so very distant in the 
lapse of ages, when much of Belgravia, and other 
parts of the valley bordering upon London, was a 
" lagoon of the Thames ; " * indeed, the clayey 
swamp in this particular region retained so much 
v.ater that no one would build there. At length, 
Mr. Thomas Cul)itt found the strata to consist of 
gravel and clay, of inconsiderable depth. The clay 

♦ In this lagoon there were many islands, as Chelsy, Bermondso'i &C» 

Belgravix ] 


:he removed and burned into bricks, and by build- 
ing upon the substratum of gravel, he converted this 
spot from the most unhealthy to one of the most 
healthy in the metropolis, in spite of the fact that 
its surface is but a few feet above the level of the 
jiver Thames at high water, during spring-tides. 

This mine of wealth — the present suburb, or 
rather city, of Belgravia, for such it has become — 
passed into the possession of the Grosvenor family 
in 1656, when the daughter and sole heiress of 
Alexander Davies, Esq., of Ebury Farm, married 
Sir Thomas Grosvenor, the ancestor of the present 
Duke of Westminster. This Mr. Davies died in 
1663, three years after the Restoration, little con- 
scious of the future value of his five pasturing fields. 
"In Queen Elizabeth's time," observes a writer in 
the Belgravia magazine, " this sumptuous property 
was only plain Eabury, or Ebury Farm, a plot of 430 
acres, meadow and pasture, let on lease to a trouble- 
some ' untoward ' person named Wharle ; and he, 
to her farthingaled Majesty's infinite annoyance, 
had let out the same to various other scurvy fellows, 
who insisted on enclosing the arable land, driving 
out the ploughs, and laying down grass, to the 
hindrance of all pleasant .hawking and coursing 
parties. Xor was this all the large-hearted queen 
alone cared about ; she had a feeling for the poor, 
and she saw how these enclosures were just so 
much sheer stark robbery of the poor man's right 
of common after Lammas-tide. In \\\e. Regenc}-, 
when Belgra\-e Square was a ground for hanging 
out clothes, all the space between Westminster and 
Vauxhall Bridge was known as * Tothill Fields,' or 
'The Downs.' It was a dreary tract of stunted, 
dusty, trodden grass, beloved by bull-baiters, 
badger-drawers, and dog-fighters. Beyond this 
Campus Martins of prize-fighting days loomed a 
garden region of cabbage-beds, stagnant ditches 
fringed with pollard withes. There was then no 
Penitentiary at Millbank, no Vauxhall Bridge, but a 
haunted house half-way to Chelsea, and a halfpenny 
hatch, that led through a cabbage-plot to a tavern 
known by the agreeable name of ' The Monster.' 
Beyond this came an embankment called the Willow 
Walk (a convenient place for quiet murder) ; and at 
one end of this lived that eminent public character, 
]).Ir. William Aberfield, generally known to the sport- 
ing peers, thieves, and dog-fanciers of the Regency 
as ' Slender Billy.' ]\Ir. Grantley Berkeley once 
had the honour of making this gentleman's ac- 
quaintance, and visited his house to see the great 
•Spanish monkey ' Mukako ' (' Muchacho ') fight 
Tom Cribb's dogs, and cut their throats one after 
the other — apparently, at least — for the 'gentleman' I 
who really bled the dogs and the peers was Mr. ' 

Cribb himself, who had a lancet hidden in his hand, 
with which, under the pretence of rendering the 
bitten and bruised dogs help, he contrived, in a 
frank and friendly way, to open the jugular vein. 
A good many of the Prince Regent's friends were 
Slender Billy's also. Mr. Slender Billy died, how- 
ever, much more regretted than the Regent, being 
a most useful and trusty member of a gang of 

The Grosvenors, as already mentioned by us,"*^ 
are one of the most ancient of the untitled English 
aristocracy, their ancestor having been the chief 
hunter {Le Gros veneur) to the Dukes of Normandy 
befoie the Conquest. It was not till a century 
ago that they condescended to bear a title, but 
since that time their growth to the very foremost 
rank in the peerage has been steady and well- 
earned, if personal worth and high honour, com- 
bined with immense wealth, are to be reckoned as 
any claim to a coronet 

The chief wealth of the Grosvenors, prior to the 
marriage of their head with Miss Davies, of Ebury 
Farm, was drawn out of the bowels of the earth in 
the north of England. Hence Pope writes — 

" All Townshend's turnips, and all Giosvenor's mines." 

There can be little doubt that, in right of his 
Manor of Ebury, the Duke of Westminster enjoys 
one of the largest rent-rolls, if not the very largest, 
in the kingdom. The current rumour of the day 
sets it down at ^1,000 a day, or ^^365, 000 a 
year. Other noblemen, especially the Dukes of 
Sutherland, Buccleuch, and Northumberland, are 
thought to approach very nearly to a like rental. 
As far back as the year 1819, the head of the 
Grosvenors was returned to the property-tax com- 
missioners as one of the four richest noblemen in 
the kingdom, the three others being the Duke of 
Northumberland, the Marquis of Stafford (after- 
wards Duke of Sutherland), and the Earl of 
Bridgewater, the annual income in each case being 
in excess of ^100,000. No other peers exceeded 
that sum at that time ; but now, owing to the 
increased value of land in London, and the steady 
growth of the productiveness of the agricultural 
and mining industries, the owners of the above 
properties have much larger rent-rolls ; and the 
probability is that there are ten or, perhaps, a 
dozen other peers whose incomes would reach the 
above-mentioned standard. A very different state 
of things, it must be said, from that which prevailed 
when Charles II. was on the throne, if !Macaulay 
may be trusted when he writes of the 3'ear 1683 : — 
" The greatest estates in the kingdom then very 

* See Vol. IV., p. 371. 



little exceeded twenty thousand a year. The Duke 
of Ormond had twenty-two thousand a year. The 
Duke of Buckingham, before his extravagance had 
impaired his great property, had nineteen thousand 
six hundred a year. George Monk, Duke of 
Albemarle, who had been rewarded for his eminent 
services with immense grants of crown land, and 
who had been notorious both for covetousness and 
for parsimony, left fifteen thousand a year of real 
estate, and sixty thousand pounds in money, which 
piiobably yielded seven per cent. These three 
dukes were supposed to be three of the very 
richest subjects in England." The building of this 
great city of Belgravia, for such we are compelled 
to call it, fully justified William IV. in bestowing 
on his lordship the territorial title of " Marquis of 
Westminster,"' which has blossomed into a duke- 
dom under Queen Victoria. 

\'iewing the great metropolis as a world in itself, 
as Addison and Dr. Johnson, and, indeed, all 
observant and thoughtful persons for these two 
centuries past have done, Belgravia and Bethnal 
Green become, both morally and physically, the 
opposite poles of the sphere of London — the frigid 
zones, so to speak, of the capital : the former, icy 
cold, from its stiff and unbending habit of fashion, 
form, and ceremony ; the other, wrapped in a per- 
petual winter of never-ending poverty and squalor. 

But it is now time for us to proceed with our 
perambulation. Close by Hyde Park Corner, at 
the north end of Grosvenor Place, stands St. 
George's Hospital. It was built upon the site of 
a pleasant suburban residence of the first Lord 
Lauesborough, who died in 1723. Here he was 
out of the sound of the noisy streets, and could 
enjoy in private his favourite amusement of 
dancing. Tke reader will not forget the line of 
Pope, in which he is immortalised as^ 

" Sober Lanesborough, dancing with the gout." 

Mr. Jesse writes : '• So paramount is said to have 
been his lordship's passion for dancing, that when 
Queen Anne lost her Consort, Prince George of 
Denmark, he seriously advised her INIajesty to 
dispel her grief by applying to his favourite 
exercise." But this may be possibly a piece of 
scandal and a canard of tlie day. Lord Lanes- 
borough's house was beyond the turnpike gate, 
and Pennant says it was his lordship's "country 

I" 1 733> Lanesborough House was converted into 
an infirmary by some seceding governors of West- 
minster Hospital. The old house for many years 
formed the central part of tlie hospital, two wings 
having been added to it wlien it v/as converted to 

its new purposes. A report of the governors for- 
th© year 1734, for which we are indebted to- 
Maitland, tells us that " the hospital is now fitted 
up, and made much more complete than could 
have been expected out of a dwelling-house. It 
will at present contain sixty patie-nts ; but, as the 
boundaries of their grounds will admit of new 
buildings for several spacious and airy wards, the 
subscribers propose to erect such buildings as soon 
as their circumstances shall enable them." These 
extra wards have since been supplied at a con- 
siderable expense, and in process of time the 
entire building has been reconstructed. From 
its commencement the hospital has been mainly 
dependent upon voluntary contributions, not being 
richly endowed like Guy's, St. Bartholomew's, a.nd 
St. Thomas's. Fifty years after its foundation, the 
subscriptions amounted to a little over _;^2,ooo a 
year. The hospital was aided by one-third of the 
proceeds of musical entertainments in the Abbey. 
In its first half century it had numbered 150,000 
patients. The present edifice was commenced 
towards the end of the reign of George IV., bjr 
William Wilkins, R.A., the architect of the National 
Gallery, University College in Gower Street, and 
other important buildings 3 but several additions- 
have since been made to the original design, the 
latest being the erection of a new wing on the 
south-west side, in Grosvenor Crescent, which was 
completed about the year 1868. 

The principal front of the hospital, facing the 
Green Pa^rk, is now nearly 200 feet in length, and 
forms a rather handsome elevation. The building 
contains a lecture theatre and an anatomical 
museum. The expenses of the institution are 
defrayed by voluntary contributions, and by the 
interest of funded property arising from legacies. 
In the year 1874, including some special gifts, its 
income amounted to upwards of ^£"2 1,000 ; and the 
number of persons benefited during the year was 
above iS,ooo. 

Mr. John Timbs, in his "Curiosities of London,'" 
mentions an " ingenious telegraph," which has been 
devised here for the transmission of orders through 
the different wards. "In the hall," he writes, "is- 
a column three feet high, with a dial of engraved 
signals, and on the walls of the different wards are 
corresponding dials ; so that when the pointer to 
tlie hall dial is moved to any signal, all the others 
move accordingly, and a little hammer strikes a 
bell, by which means about fifty signals are trans- 
mitted daily to each ward, without the possibility 
of error or the least noise." 

The Atkinson Morley Convalescent Home at 
Wimbledon is connected with this hospital, and 



tliere is also a medical school in connection with 
the institution. Of the many celebrated men 
whose names are more or less intimately associated 
with St. George's Hospital, may be mentioned 
those of Dr. Baily, Dr. W. Hunter, and his brother, 
John Hunter (who died here suddenly, having 
been violently excited by a quarrel in the board- 
room, while suffering under disease of the heart), 
Sir IJenjamin Brodie, Sir Everard Home, and 
Dr. James Hope, the author of "A Treatise on 
the Diseases of the Heart," and on " Morbid 
Anatomy," who was chiefly instrumental in over- 
coming the prejudice that formerly existed in 
England, and especially at this hospital, against 
the use of the stethoscope in the examination of 
-diseases of the chest. 

In June, 1876, a curious accident occurred here. 
Through the bursting of a large tank on the roof, 
several tons of water suddenly broke through and 
<ieluged the lower floors, injuring some of the 
patients and the medical students, and causing the 
death of two or three of the patients. It need 
scarcely be added that, in the sanitary arrangements 
of the hospital, and also more especially in the 
important matter of ventilation, recourse has been 
had to the latest scientific improvements and dis- 

Like other London hospitals, St. George's draws 
its patients very largely from the most unfriended 
classes in its vicinity, very much from the poor of 
.all parts of London, and in no small degree from 
the poor of all parts of England. In 1870, an 
inquiry showed that there were above 330 in- 
patients. Of these, 100 resided within a mile of 
the hospital; 150 beyond that radius, but within 
four miles of Charing Cross ; while the remainder 
•came from all parts of the country. 

At the south-eastern corner of St. George's Hos- 
pital, where now is Grosvenor Crescent, was for- 
merly the entrance to TattersalFs celebrated auction- 
mart, ^' so renowned through all the breadth and 
length of horse-loving, horse-breeding, horse-racing 
Europe," which from all parts sends hither its 
representatives, when the more important sales are 
going on, and, with a confidence justified by the 
known character of the house, commissions the 
proprietor himself to procure for the nobles and 
gentry of the Continent fresh supplies for their 
studs of the finest English horses. The building 
itself, at the back, occupied part of the grounds of 
Lanesborough House. The entry was through an 
.arched passage and down an inclined " drive," at the 
bottom of which was a public-house or " tap," desig- 
nated " The Turf," for the accommodation of the 
throngs of grooms, jockeys, and poorer horse-dealers 

and horse-fanciers. On the left, an open gateway 
led into a garden-like enclosure, with a single tree 
in the centre rising from the middle of a grass-plot, 
surrounded by a circular path of yellow sand or 
gravel. Immediately beyond the gateway was the 
subscription-room; this building, though small, was 
admirably adapted for the purposes for Avhich it 
was designed, and it contained merely a set of 
desks arranged in an octagonal form in the centre, 
where bets were recorded, and money paid over. 
On the right of the passage, a covered gateway led 
into the court-yard, where the principal business of 
the place was carried on ; this was surrounded on 
three sides by a covered way, and at the extremity 
of one side stood the auctioneers rostrum, over- 
looking the whole area. The stables, where the 
horses to be sold were kept in the interim, were 
close at hand, and admirably arranged for light and 
ventilation. In the centre of the enclosure was a 
domed structure to an humble but important 
ai)pendage — a pump, and the structure itself was 
crowned by a bust of George IV. About the year 
1864, '* Tattersall's " — as this celebrated auction- 
mart was familiarly called throughout Europe — was 
remo\'ed further westward to Knightsbridge, wliere 
we shall come to it shortly. 

The public days at old "Tattersall's" were the 
Mondays in each week through the year, with the 
addition of Thursday during the height of the 
season. The horses of the chief sale, that of the 
Monday, arri\-ed on the Friday previous. " When 
the settling-times arrive," observes a writer in the 
Penny Magazine for 1S31, "great is the bustle and 
excitement that prevails throughout Tattersall's. 
Vehicles of all kinds dash to and fro in incessant 
motion, or linger altogether inactive in rows about 
the neighbourhood, while their masters are bidding 
for a good hunter or a pair of carriage-horses. 
A more motley assemblage than the buyers or 
lookers-on at such times it would be impossible to 
find. Noblemen and ambitious costermongers, 
bishops and blacklegs, horse-breeders, grooms, 
jockeys, mingling promiscuously with the man of 
retired and studious habits fond of riding and 
breeding the wherewithal to ride ; tradesmen about 
to set up their little pleasure-chaise or business- 
cart ; and commercial travellers, whose calling has 
inoculated them with a passion for dabbling in 
horseflesh, and who, in their inns on the road, talk 
with great gusto and decision of all that pertains 
to Tattersall's, on the strength of some occasional 
half-hour's experience in the court-yard." 

Richard Tattersall, the founder of the above 
establishment, was training-groom to the last Duke 
of Kingston, brother of Lady I\Iary Wortley ^'Jon- 



tagu, and husband of the notorious duchess. On 
the death of his patron, in 1773, he appears to have 
opened his auction-mart ; but the foundation of his 
fortune was laid by his purchase of the racehorse 
" Highflyer," for the enormous sum of ^^2,500, and, 
it is supposed, on credit — an evidence of the high 
character for integrity which he must have already 
acquired. " Of his personal qualities," it has been 
observed, " perhaps the establishment itself is the 
best testimony; what Tattersali's is now, it seems to 

and extended as far as the Alexandra Hotel. 
Here Dr. Parr used to stay when he came up to 
London from his parsonage at Hatton. Here, 
too, lived for some years John Liston, the come- 
dian, who had removed hither after his retirement 
from the stage. " He had long outlived the use of 
his faculties,"' writes Leigh Hunt, "and used to 
stand at his window at ' the Corner ' sadly gazing 
at the tide of human existence which was going by, 
and which he had once helped to enliven." 'Mr, 


have essentially been from the very outset — a place 
where men of honour might congregate without 
breathing, or, at all events, in but a greatly lessened 
degree, the pestilential vapour that usually but too 
often surrounds the stable ; where men of taste 
might enjoy the glimpses afforded of the most 
beautiful specimens of an exquisitely beautiful 
race, without being perpetually disgusted with the 
worst of all things — that of the jockey or horse- 
dealer." We shall have more to say of " Tatter- 
sali's," however^ when we come to Knightsbridge. 

St. George's Place, or Terrace, now a series of 
princely mansions, was, till lately, a long row of 
low brick houses, of only one or two storeys, on 
the west side of the hospital, fronting Hyde Park, 

Planche', who was one of his most intimate friends^ 
writes thus of this singular monomaniac : " His 
sole occupation was sitting all day long at the 
window of his residence, timing the omnibuses,, 
and expressing the greatest distress and displeasure 
if any of them happened to be late. This had 
become a sort of monomania ; his spirits had com- 
pletely forsaken him. He never smiled or entered 
into conversation, and eventually he sunk into a 
lethargy, from which he woke no more in this 

In this terrace, probably, was the school to which 
Pope was sent at ten or eleven years of age, and 
where, as he tells us, he forgot nearly all that he 
had learnt from his first instructor, a worthy priest ; 






-and it is to his stay at this school that the poet thus 

refers later in life : — 

" Soon as I enter at my country door, 
My mind resumes the thread it dropt before ; 
Thoughts, which at Hyde Park Corner I forgot, 
Meet and rejoin me in my pensive grot." 

The Alexandra Hotel, which covers the ground 
formerly occupied by some half-dozen of the houses 
in St. George's Place, is one of the most important 
■and largest hotels in the metropolis. It was built 
shortly after the marriage of the Prince of Wales 
with the Princess Alexandra of Denmark, after 
\vhom it is named. The hotel is largely patronised 
by families of distinction from the country, and 
-also by foreign notabilities, who, during their stay 
in London, desire to be within easy reach of the 
'Court and the principal quarters of the West End. 
A few short )-ards westward beyond the Alexandra 
Hotel the roadway enters Knightsbridge, which we 
shall deal with in the next chapter. 

The old toll-gate at Hyde Park Corner, between 
Piccadilly and Knightsbridge, considerably nar- 
rowed the entrance into Piccadilly at its western 
€nd ; and its removal, as we have mentioned in our 
account of that thoroughfare,* was a great improve- 
ment not only to Piccadilly itself, but to Knights- 
bridge as well. Our illustration (see page lo) 
shows the auctioneer in the act of brandishing his 
hammer, and exclaiming, dc vwn\ " Once, twice, 
thrice ! Going, going, gone ! " to the great satis- 
faction, no doubt, of the speculative contractor 
who purchased the old materials in order to mend 
the roads. 

Grosvenor Place forms the eastern boundary of 
Belgravia, extending southward from St. George's 
Hospital, and overlooking the gardens of Bucking- 
ham Palace, of which we have already spoken. It 
was till recently described as " a pleasant row of 
houses," mostly built during the Grenville Adminis- 
tration, in the early part of the present century. 
*' When George III. was adding a portion of the 
Creen Park to the new garden at Buckingham 
House," says Mr. Peter Cunningham, quoting from 
Walpole's " George III.,'' '•' the fields on the oppo- 
,site side of the road were to be sold, at the price 
of _;:^2o,ooo. This sum Grenville refused to issue 
from the Treasury. The ground Avas consequently 
leased to builders, and a new row of houses, over- 
looking the king in his private walks, was erected, 
to his great annoyance." 

Lord Hatherton removed, in 1830, from Port- 
man Square to a house in Grosvenor Place, wliich 
]Macaulay terms a palace. Macaulay tells about 

* See Vol. IV., p. 290, 

this neighbourhood a good story, which would not 
gratify the pride of the head of the house of Gros- 
venor. " AMien Lord Hatherton changed his resi- 
dence his servants gave him warning, as they could 
not, they said, go into such an unheard-of part of 
the world as Grosvenor Place. I can only say 
that I have never been in a finer house." ^"erily 
there is as much truth to-day, as there was two 
thousand years ago, in the old Roman satirist's 

line — 

" Maxima quceque domus servis est plena superbis." 

Lord Hatherton continued to reside here for many 
years. He had a choice gallery of paintings, which 
are mentioned, in some detail, by Dr. Waagen, 
in his work on " Art and Artists in England." 

During the years 1873-76 the appearance of a 
great part of this street Avas totally changed. In 
place of some dozen or so houses of ordinary 
appearance, which formerly stood at the north end, 
five princely mansions have been erected, in the 
most ornate Italian style ; one of these is occu- 
pied by the Duke of Grafton, and another by 
the Duke of Northumberland, since his expulsion 
from Charing Cross. Lower down is the residence 
of the head of the Rothschild family. In the 
adjoining house lived for some time the late Earl 
Stanhope (better known by his courtesy title of 
Lord Mahon), the historian and essayist, author 
of a '•' History of the War of the Succession in 
Spain," "A History of England, from the Peace 
of Utrecht," and other works. Lord Stanhope, 
who was many years President of the Society of 
Antiquaries, was grandson of the inventor of the 
Stanhope printing-press. 

At the southern end, in Hobart Place, formerly 
Grosvenor Street West, was an inn called "The 
Feathers," about which a good story is told by ]\Ir. 
J. Larwood in his " History of Sign-boards : " — 
" A lodge of Odd Fellows was held at this house, 
into the priwite chamber of Avhich George Prince 
of Wales one night intruded very abruptly, with a 
roystering friend. The society at that moment was 
celebrating some of its awful mysteries, which no 
uninitiated eye might behold, and these were wit- 
nessed by the profane intruders. The only way to 
repair the sacrilege was to make the Prince and his 
companion 'Odd Fellows' — a title which they cer- 
tainly deserved as richly as any members of the club. 
The initiatory rites were quickly gone through, and 
the Prince w^as chairman for the remainder of the 
evening.' In 185 1 the old public-liouse was pulled 
down, and a new gin-palace built on its site, in the 
parlour of which," adds Mr. Larwood, " the chair 
used by the distinguished ' Odd Fellow ' is still 
preserved, along with a portrait of his Royal High- 



ness in the robes of the order." Another pubHc- 
liouse in Grosvenor Street perpetuated, writes Mr. 
J. Larwood, the well-known fable of the " Wolf 
and the Lamb," which was pictured by a sign repre- 
senting a lion and a kid. The house was known 
as the '•' Lion and Goat." 

At the bottom of Grosvenor Place, and reaching 
to Buckingham Palace Road, is a large triangular 
piece of ground, intersected by a part of Ebury 
Street, and covered with lofty and handsomely- 
constructed houses, known respectively as Gros- 
venor Gardens and Belgrave INLansions. On the 
east side of this triangular plot is Arabella Row, 
one side of which is occupied by the royal stables 
of Buckingham Palace, which we have already de- 
scribed.* This row was once, not so very long ago, 
well tenanted. Among others, here lived Lord 
Erskine, after he had ceased to hold the seals as 
Lord Chancellor. His lordship, who held them 
only a year, was not only an orator, but a wit, as 
the following anecdote will show : — Captain Parry 
was once at dinner in his compan}-, when Lord 
Erskine asked him what he and his crew lived upon 
in the Frozen Sea. Parry said that they lived 
upon seals. " And capital things, too, seals are, if 
\ou only keep them long enough," was the reply. 
One of the houses in Arabella Row is the official 
residence of the Queen's Librarian at Windsor 

At the corner of Arabella Row and Buckingham 
Palace Road, is a public-house, rejoicing in the 
once common sign of the " Bag o' Nails " — a per- 
version of " The Bacchanals " of Ben Jonson. 
'• About fifty years ago," writes the author of 
"Tavern Anecdotes," in 1825, '"the original sign 
might have been seen at the front of the house ; 
it was a Satyr of the AVoods, with a group of 'jolly 
dogs,' ycleped Bacchanals. But the Satyr having 
been painted black, and with cloven feet, it was 
called by the common people ' The Devil ; ' while 
the Bacchanalian revellers were transmuted, by a 
comic process, into the ' Bag of Nails.'" 

In Grosvenor Row, a thoroughfare which has 
disappeared in the march of modern improvements 
that have recently taken place in this neighbour- 
hood, was another inn, " The Three Compasses," 
well known as a starting-point for the Pimlico 
omnibuses. It was generally known as the "Goat 
and Compasses" — possibly a corruption of the 
text, "God encompasseth us;" though Mr. P. Cun- 
ningham sees in it a reproduction of the arms of 
the Wine Coopers' Company, as they appear on a 
vault in the Church of S. Maria di Capitolo, at 

♦ See Vol. IV., p. 69. 

Cologne — a shield, with a pair of compasses, an 
axe, and a dray, or truck, with goats for supporters. 
" In a country like England, dealing so much at 
one time in Rhenish wine, a more likely origin,"' 
he observes, " could hardly be imagined." Mr. 
Larwood, however, points out that possibly the 
" Goat " was the original sign, and that the host 
afterwards added the Masonic '• Compasses," as is 
often done now. 

Belgrave Square, into which we now pass, was 
so named after the ^'iscountcy of Belgrave, the 
second title of Earl Grosvenor before he was raised 
to his superior titles. It was built in the year 1825, 
and covers an area of about ten acres. It was 
designed by George Basevi, the detached mansions 
at the angles being the work of Hardwick, Kendall, 
and others. It is nearly 700 feet in length by a 
little over 600. The houses are uniform, except 
the large detached mansions at the angles. Those 
in the sides are adorned with Corinthian columns 
and capitals. 

Belgrave Square has always been occupied by 
the heads of the highest titled nobility, and by 
many foreigners of distinction. Lord Ellesmere 
lived here till he built Bridgewater House. Among 
other notabilities who have resided here may be 
named the first Lord Combermere, Sir Roderick 
Murchison, the geologist. Sir Charles Wood,, 
afterwards Lord Halifax, and General Sir George 
Murray, who acted as Quartermaster-General to the 
British army during the Peninsular A\'ar. At the 
south-west corner lived for some years another dis- 
tinguished General, Lord Hill, the hero of Almarez. 
In this square the Count de Chambord and his 
mother held their court, during a short visit which 
they paid to England in 1843. 'i'l'^e Austrian 
Embassy has been for several years located in this 

In Chapel Street, which runs from tlie south-east 
comer of Belgrave Square into Grosvenor Place,, 
resided jNIr. Richard Jones, a teacher of elocution,, 
generally known as " Gentleman Jones," who is- 
mentioned by Lord William Lennox, and by 
nearly all the writers of modern London anecdote. 
Here he used to have scores of pupils practising 
for the pulpit, the bar, or the senate. " L'nder kis 
able tuition," says Lord W. Lennox, " many a 
reverend gentleman, who mumbled over the service, 
became a shining light ; many an embryo lawyer, 
who spoke as if he had a ball of worsted in his. 
mouth, became a great orator ; and many a member 
of Parliament, who ' hummed and hawed,' and was 
unintelligible in the gallery, turned out a dis- 
tinguished speaker." 

Eccleston Street derives its name from Eccleston,. 



in Cheshire, where the Grosvenors own a property. 
The large liouse at the corner of this street was 
for many years the residence ©f Sir Francis 
Chantre}-, the sculptor. He was born at Norton, 
near Sheffield, in 1781, and, as a boy, used to 
ride a donkey, carrying milk into the town. " On 
a certain day, when returning home upon his 
donkey, Chantrey was observed by a gentleman 
to be very intently engaged in cutting a stick with 

There is, or was, in it a small gallery with a lanthorn, 
by Sir John Soane. Sir F. Chantrey was pronounced 
by the "' Foreigner," who is known as the author of 
'•' An Historical and Literary Tour in England," to 
be the only English sculptor of his age who was 
distinguished by true originality, though still young 
in reputation. 

Macaulay tells a good story of him, and one 
most creditable to his magnanimity, which kept him 


his penknife. Excited by his curiosity, he asked 
the lad what he was doing, when, with great sim- 
plicity of manner, but with courtesy, the lad replied, 
' I am cutting old Fox^s head.' Foxe was the 
schoolmaster of the village. On this, the gentleman 
asked to see what he had done, pronounced it to 
be an excellent likeness, and presented the youth 
with sixpence; and this may, perhaps, be reckoned 
the first money Avhich Chantrey ever obtained for 
liis ingenuity.'"' 

He took up his residence here shortly after 
his marriage in 1809. The house was then two 
separate residences— Nos. 29 and 30, Lower Bel- 
grave Place— but Chantrey threw the two houses 
into one, and named them anew as part of Eccle- 
ston Street. In the studios at the back, all his best 
works— his bust of Sir Walter Scott, his " Sleeping 
Children," and his statue of Watt — were executed. 

from being ashamed of his early struggles in life. 
^^'hcn Chantrey dined with Rogers, he took par- 
ticular notice of a certain -vase, and of the table on 
which it stood, and asked Rogers who made the 
latter. "A common carpenter," said Rogers. " Do 
you remember the making of it?" asked Chantrey. 
" Certainly," replied Rogers, in some surprise ; " I 
was in the room while it was finished with the 
chisel, gind gave the workmen directions about 
placing it." "Yes," said Chantrey, "I was the 
carpenter ; I remember the room well, and all the 
circumstances." Chantrey died at the close of the 
year 1841 : he expired whilst sitting in an easy- 
chair in his drawing-room. By his v.-ill Sir Francis 
left a considerable sum to the Royal Academy, to 
be devoted to endowing the Presidentship of that 
institution, and in other ways to ''the encourage- 
ment of British Fine Art in Painting and Sculp- 




'cure,'' the bequest to take effect on the death or 
second marriage of his wife. Lady Chantrey died 
in 1875, "\vhen the above legacy, which had gone 
on accumulating, became available for the purposes 
to which it was to be devoted. 

On the north-west side of Belgrave Square are 
Wilton Crescent and Wilton Place. In the latter, 
which opens into Knightsbridge Road, a little west- 
ward of the Alexandra Hotel, is St. Paul's Church, 
which is deserving of notice, from the fact of its 
clergy having always been prominent leaders of 
the Ritualistic or extreme " high church " party. 
The first incumbent was the Rev. W. J. E. Bennett, 
afterwards vicar of Frome, Somerset, who was suc- 
ceeded by the Hon. and Rev. Robert Liddell. The 
church, which was consecrated in 1843, is built in 
the Early Perpendicular style of architecture, and 
Avas erected at a cost of j[^i 1,000. It consists only 
of a nave and chancel, and a lofty tower crowned 
Avith eight pinnacles ; the windows are filled with 
stained glass, and the interior is rich in ornamenta- 
tion. This church has been the scene of many 
a strong conflict between the parishioners and the 
incumbent respecting the ceremonials carried on 
here, which culminated in one of the vestrymen, 
more courageous than the rest — a Mr. Westerton — 
bringing the matter in dispute before the courts of 

Between Motcomb, Lowndes, and Kinnerton 
Streets, all of which are on the western side of the 
square, is a large building, called the Pantechnicon, 
used of late years for storing furniture, carriages, 
works of art, &c. It was originally built about the 
year 1834, as a bazaar, and was established prin- 
cipally for the sale of carriages and household 
furniture. There was also a "wine department,"' 
consisting of a range of dry vaults for the reception 
and display of wines ; and the bazaar contained 
likewise a '• toy department."' The building, Avhich 
covered about two acres, was burnt to the ground 
in 1874, when a large quantity of valuable property 
was destroyed. The work of rebuilding was soon 
afterwards commenced, the nev.- structure being 
erected on detached blocks, and of fire-proof 
materials, so that the chances of the building being 
again destroyed in a similar Avay are considerably 

Halkin Street, on the northern side of the 
square, was so called from Halkin Castle, in Flint- 
shire, one of the seats of the ducal owner. In this 
street is a chapel, which has been since 1866 used 
by the Presbyterian body. The building is some- 
what singular in shape, neither square nor oblong, 
the end opposite the entrance being considerably 
vrider than the other. 

Connecting the south-east comer of Belgrave- 
Square Avith Ebury Street, and skirting the east 
ends of Eaton and Chester Squares, are Upper and 
Lower Belgrave Streets. In the former, in 1S42, 
the Earl of INIunster committed suicide. He Avas- 
the eldest son of William IV. by INIrs. Jordan. 
He married Miss Wyndham, one of the natural 
daughters of Lord Egremont, Avith Avhom he had 
a fortune of ;!^4o,ooo or ;^5o,ooo. He had the 
place of Constable of Windsor Castle, AA-hich AA-as 
continued to him by the Queen, and he had just^ 
been appointed to the command of the troops at 
Plymouth, AA-ith AA-hich he Avas much pleased. Mr. 
Raikes, in his "Journal,"" speaks of him as "a very 
amiable man in pri\-ate life, not Avithout some 
talent, and given to study Eastern languages." As- 
Colonel Fitz-Clarence, he had shoAvn great bravery 
and energy in arresting the leaders of the Cato- 
Street conspiracy. He AA'as raised to a peerage on 
his father's accession to the throne. 

Eaton Square Avas designed and built by IMessrs. 
Cubitt in 1827. ItAvas named after Eaton Hall, in 
Cheshire, the principal seat of the Duke of West- 
minster. It occupies an oblong piece of ground, 
and the centre is divided by roadAA-ays into six 
separate enclosures. No. 71 Avas for some time, 
during the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, 
the official residence of the Speaker of the House 
of Commons. Most of the mansions, in fact, have 
at different times been occupied by members of 
one or other division of the Legislature. No. 75 
Avas for many years the residence of the late Mr. 
Ralph Bernal, M.P. for Rochester, and Chairman', 
of Committees in the House of Commons. He 
Avas a distinguished antiquary and connoisseur, and: 
made here his superb collection of Avorks of art, 
including china, armour, articles of vertii^ and anti- 
quities of ever)' description, the sale of Avhich, occu- 
pying thirty-tAvo days, Avas one of the " events " of 
the season of 1855. 

At No. 83 lived, during the closing years of his 
life, the late Lord Truro. The son of an attorney 
on College Hill, in London, Thomas Wilde began 
life in his father's oftice ; but having afterwards 
studied for tlie higher branch of the profession, he 
AA-as, at the age of thirty-fiA^e, called to the bar at 
the Inner Temple. In 1820 he Avas engaged as 
one of the counsel for Queen Caroline on her 
"trial" in the House of Lords, Avhich, doubtless, 
brought him a handsome fee ; and he is said to 
haA-e had a retaining fee of 3,000 guineas in the 
case of the British Iron Company against Mr. John 
Attwood. Before his accession to the Upper 
House on being made Lord Chancellor, he sat 
in the House of Commons as member for NeAvark,. 



and also for the City of Worcester. He died in 
1855, immensely rich, having married, as his second 
wife, a daughter of the late Duke of Sussex. 

At the east end of the square is St. Peter's 
Church, an Ionic building designed by Hakewill, 

western end of the square, was erected in 1S44, 
the foundation-stone being laid by Earl Grosvenor, 
father of the present Duke of Westminster ; and it 
was built from the designs of Mr. Thomas Cundy 
in the Decorated style of the fourteenth centur)'. 


and consecrated in 1S27. The altar-piece, ''Christ 
crowned with thorns," was painted by W. Hilton, 
R.A., and presented to the church by the British 

Chester Snjuare, which almost abuts upon the 
north side of Eaton Square, was commenced about 
the year 1S40, and was so called after the City of 
Chester, near which place Eaton Hall is situated. 
The picturesque Gothic church of St. Michael. 
which stands in a commanding position at tlie 

Its principal external feature is the tower, with a 
lofty spii-e, which, till some additions to the body of 
the church were made in 1874, appeared to be 
somewhat out of proportion to the remainder of 
the fabric. 

Ebury Street and Ebury Square were so called 
from t:bury or Eabery Farm, which stood on this 
site. The farm embraced upwards of 400 acres, 
meadow and pasture, and was let on lease by 
Queen Elizabeth for the sum of ^21 per annum, 

i'clgravia. ] 



to a person named Whashe, by whom, as Strype 
tells us, " the same was let to divers persons, who, 
for their private commodity, did inclose the same 
and had made pastures of arable land ; thereby 
not only annoying her Majesty in her walks and 
passages, but to the hindrance of her game, and 
great injury to the common, which at Lammas was 
wont to be laid open." In Ebury Street is an 
extensive open-air skating rink and club-house, 

Chesham, in Buckinghamshire, the ground landlord, 
a descendant of William Lowndes, Secretary to the 
Treasury in the reign of Queen Anne." " The 
site of this square," as Mr. John Timbs informs us, 
"was once a coppice, which supplied the Abbot 
and Convent of Westminster with wood for fuel." 

Lowndes Square has numbered among its resi- 
dents at different times men who have distinguished 
themselves in their several walks of life. Of them 


called the " Belgravia." It was established as a 
club, on the proprietary system, and is therefore 
open only to members and their friends. The 
Manor House of the Eabury Estate stood between 
Hobart Place and the bottom of Grosvenor Place. 
The western limits of Belgravia are Lowndes 
Square, Cadogan Place, and the few connecting 
streets on the east side of Sloane Street. Lowndes 
Square itself dates from about the year 1838, when 
it was built on a vacant piece of ground, described 
in Rocque's " Map of London and its Environs,"' en- 
graved in 1746, as then belonging to " — Lowndes, 
Esq.;" and it was so called, says Mr. Peter Cun- 
ningham, "after Mr. Lowndes, of The Bury, near 
194— Vol. V. 

we may mention Sir John Rennie, the eminent 
civil engineer, and architect of New London 
Bridge ; Sir William Tite, another distinguished 
architect, and some time M.P. for Bath; Thomas 
Brassey, the engineer ; and the Right Hon. Robert 
Lowe, M.P. for London University. 

At the corner of Lowndes Square and Cadogan 
Place, we quit the Duke of Westminster's estate. 
Cadogan Place, which occupies an extensive area 
i of ground, is open on the west side to Sloane Street. 
It is called after the family of Lord Cadogan, into 
whose hands the manor of Chelsea came, by the 
marriage of the first Lord Cadogan with the heiress 
of Sir Hans Sloane. 




Here lived Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Macaulay 
from about 1818 to 1823, when they removed to 
Great Ormond Street, as already stated. From 
Cadogan Place, the young Macaulays used to walk 
on a Sunday — or, as they were taught to call the 
day, the "Sabbath" — across the -"Five Fields," 
now Belgrave Square, to the Lock Chapel, then 
situated in Grosvenor Place, contiguous to the Lock 
Asylum. In a house in this place, on the 29th of 
July, 1S33, died William Wilberforce, the eminent 
philanthropist, many years M.P. for Yorkshire, who 
IS best known for his devotion to the abolition of 
the slave-trade. There is something peculiarly 
toucliing in the fact that Wilberforce died— ^/£v 
opportimitate viortis — just as the abolition of the 
slave-trade was in the act of being carried through 
Parliament, and the last fetters struck from the 
slaves' hands and feet. His funeral took place 
on the 3rd of August, in Westminster Abbey. 
On that day, his friend's son, Thomas Babington 
INIacaulay, writes : — "We have laid him side by 
side with Canning, at the feet of Pitt, and within 
two steps of Fox and Grattan. He died with the 
promised land full in view." Before the end of 
the next month the British Parliament formally 
abolished slavery throughout the dominions of the 
Crown, and the last touch was put to the work that 
had consumed so many pure and noble lives. It 
Avas agreed that he should have been buried in the 
grave of his friends the Stephens, at Stoke Newing- 
ton, but the voice of the country ruled otherwise. 
A subscription Avas immediately opened among 
^Ix. Wilberforce's friends in London, and his statue 
has been placed in Westminster Abbey. At York, 
a County Asylum for the Blind has been founded 
in honour of him, while his townsmen of Hull 
have raised a column to his memory. Great part 
of our coloured population in the West Indies went 
into mourning at the news of his death ; and the 
same was the case at New York, where also an 
eulogium was pronounced upon him by a person 
publicly selected for the task. 

In Cadogan Place lived Sir Herbert Taylor, 
the Private Secretary and attached friend of King 
William IV. Here, too, was the last London 
residence of the celebrated actress, Mrs. Jordan. 
Another resident in Cadogan Place, in more recent 
times, was Mr. Wynn Ellis, of Tankerton Castle, 
^\'hitstable, formerly M.P. for Leicester. He had 
for many years a mania for collecting pictures, 
chiefly the works of the old masters, of which he 
was an excellent connoisseur. Dr. Waagen (1835), 
in his "Art and Artists in England," mentions a 
visit paid by him to Mr. Wynn Ellis's gallery : — 
*' He possesses, besides many good old pictures, 

the best copy of Wilson's celebrated landscape, 
together with the ' Children of Niobe,' formerly in 
the possession of the Duke of Gloucester." 

Mr. Wynn Ellis died in 1875, having by his will 
left to the nation, for exhibition in the National 
Gallery, his large collection of the Avorks of the old 
masters. These alone number some four or five 
hundred. The mere mention of the names of 
certain of the artists tell their own tale ; for among 
the collection there are more than one painting, in 
some cases several, from the brushes of Raphael, 
Rubens, Murillo, Claude, Van der Velde, Hobbima, 
Holbein, Guido, Leonardo da Vinci, the Poussins, 
and a score of others. Mr. Ellis's collection of 
works by modern artists was brought to the hammer 
at Christie's, and the sale formed one of the events 
of the season. Mr. Ellis began life as a warehouse- 
man on Ludgate Hill, and accumulated a large 
fortune, many thousands of which he left to dif- 
ferent charities. 

Of Sloane Square, at the south end of Cadogan 
Place, we shall speak in a future chapter, when 
dealing with Sloane Street. 

In a map of London and its neighbourhood, 
published in 1S04, the whole of the site of Bel- 
gravia, betv/een Grosvenor Place and Sloane Street, 
appears still covered with fields. They are crossed 
by " the King's private road," which is now occu- 
pied by Hobart Place, the roadway in the centre 
of Eaton Square, and Westbourne Place, termi- 
nating in Sloane Square. About the centre ot 
Grosvenor Place, at that time, stood the Lock 
Hospital or Asylum, which was founded in 1787 
by the Rev. Thomas Scott, the commentator; a 
little to the south, at the corner of the " King's 
private road," was the Duke's Hospital. What is 
now Ebury Street was then an open roadway, called 
Ranelagh Street, having a few houses on one side 
only. Twenty years later the whole character of 
this locality was considera.bly changed. Belgrave 
Square and Wilton Crescent had sprung into 
existence, as also had Cadogan Square and Cado- 
gan Place, together with a few connecting streets. 
Sir Richard Phillips, in his " Walk from London to 
Kew," published in 1817, speaks of the creeks 
which at that time ran from the Thames, " in the 
swamps opposite Belgrave Place," and adds that 
they " once joined the canal in St. James's Park, 
and, passing through Whitehall, formed by their 
circuit the ancient isle of St. Peter's. Their course," 
he continues, "has been filled up between the 
wharf of the water- works and the end of the canal 
in St. James's Park, and the isle of St. Peter's is no 
longer to be traced." The cut on the preceding 
page shows the locality in 1814. 





" Cubat hie in colle Quirini, 
Hie exlremo In Aventino ; visendus uterque : 
Intervalla vides humane eommoda." — Horace. 

Derivation ot the Name of Knightsbridge— Early History of the Locality — The Old Bridge — Insecurity of the Roads, and Lad' Reputation of the 
Innkeepers — Historical Events connected with Knightsbridge — The Old " Swan" Inn — Electioneering Riots— An Eccentric Old Lady — Tlie 
" Spring Garden " and the " World's End" — Knightsbridge Grove— Mrs. Cornelys as a Vendor of Asses' JMilk — Albert Gate — The " Fox and 
Bull" — The French Embassy— George Hudson, the "Railway King" — The Cannon Brewery — Dunn's Chinese Gallery— Trinity Chapel and 
the Lazar House — '" ir't^^iiar" Marriages — Knightsbridge Barracks — Smith and Barber's Floor-cloth Manufactory — Edward Stirling, the 
"Thunderer" of the Times — Kent House — Kingston House — Rutland Gate — Eimismore Place — Brompton Oratory — Brompton Church — 
Count Rumford and other Distinguished Residents — New " Tattersall's " — The Gieen — Chalker House — The " Rose and Crown " Inn — 
The "Rising Sun" — Knightsbridge Cattle Market. 

In the early Saxon days, when " Chelsey,' and 
" Kensing town," and "Charing" were country 
villages, there lay between all three a sort of " No 
Man's Land," which in process of time came to be 
called " Knightsbridge," although it never assumed, 
or even claimed, parochial honours, nor indeed 
could be said to have had a recognised existence. 
It was a district of uncertain extent and limits ; 
but it is, nevertheless, our purpose to try and " beat 
the bounds " on behalf of its former inhabitants. 

The name of Knightsbridge, then, must be taken 
as indicating, not a parish, nor yet a manor, but 
only a certain locality adjoining a bridge, which 
formerly stood on the road between London and 
far distant Kensington. There is much difficulty 
as to the derivation of the name, for in the time 
of Edward the Confessor, if old records are 
correctly deciphered, it was called " Kyngesburig;" 
while some hundred years or so later we find it 
spoken of as " Knightsbrigg," in a charter of 
Herbert, Abbot of Westminster. A local legend, 
recorded by Mr. Davis, in his " History of Knights- 
bridge," says that : " In ancient time certain 
knights had occasion to go from London to wage 
war for some holy purpose. Light in heart, if 
heavy in arms, they passed through this district on 
their way to receive the blessing awarded to the 
faithful by the Bishop of London at Fulham. For 
some cause or other, however, a quarrel ensued 
between two of the band, and a combat was 
determined upon to decide the dispute. They 
fought on the bridge which spanned the stream of 
the Westbourne, whilst from its banks the struggle 
w^as watched by their partisans. Both fell, if the 
legend may be trusted ; and the place was ever 
after called Knightsbridge, in remembrance of 
their fatal feud." 

Another possible derivation of the name is 
quoted from Norden, the topographer, by the 
Rev. M. Walcott, in his " Memorials of West- 
minster : " — " Kingsbridge, commonly called Stone- 
bridge, near Hyde Park Corner, [is a place] where 

I wish no true man to walk too late without good 
guard, as did Sir H. Knyvett, Knight, who valiantly 
defended himself, there being assaulted, and slew 
the master thief with his own hands." However, 
in all probability the name is of older date than 
either of the above events ; therefore we may be 
content to leave the question for the solution ot 
future topographers, merely remarking that whether 
it was originally " Knightsbrigg," or " Kyngesbrigg," 
King Edward the Confessor held lands here, and 
possibly may have built a bridge for the use of 
the monks of Westminster, to whom he devised 
a portion of his acres. That such was the case 
we learn from a charter preserved in the British 
Museum, which conveyed to the monks of West- 
minster, along with the manor of Chelsea, " every 
third tree, and every horse-load of fruit grown in 
an adjacent wood at Kyngesbyrig, as heretofore 
by law accustomed." 

" Knightsbridge," observes Mr. Davis, in his 
"History," "is not : .jntioned in Domesday Book, 
neither are Westbourne, or Hyde, or Paddington, 
these places being probably included in the 
surrounding manors." Moreover, we read tliat 
" Knightsbridge lies in the manor of Eia or Ea, 
formerly a portion of Cealcyth (Chelcheth or 
Chelsey), and now known as Eabury or Ebury." 
The manor of Ea, as confirmed to the Abbey of 
Westminster by the Conqueror, seems to have 
included all the lands lying between the West- 
bourne on the west, and the Tyburn on the east, 
from the great road which ran from Tyburn towards 
Uxbridge down to the Thames. Yet, curiously 
enough, as Mr. Davis tells us, though given thus 
early to the Abbey, the manor was not included 
in the franchise of the city of Westminster, though 
Knightsbridge, which lay pardy, at least, beyond it, 
was so included. The fact is the more strange, as 
a large part of Knightsbridge belonged for many 
centuries, and indeed still in theory belongs, to the 
parish of St. Margaret, Westminster. 

In the course of time the monks of Westminster 




appear to have claimed and exercised further 
rights over this district, including the holding of 
market and a fair, the erection of a gallows- 
tree, and those of imprisoning evil-doers, and of 
seizing the goods of condemned persons and run- 
aways. They further appropriated sundry lay fees 
in '• Knythbrigg, Padyngton, Eya, and Westbourne, 
■without licence of the king." In 1222 the Tyburn 
stream was laid down as tlie west boundary of 
that parish, excepting the hamlet of Knightsbridge, 
which lay beyond it. 

The manor of Ea, or Eabury, was afterwards 
included in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, when the 
latter was cut off from St. Margaret's ; but when 
St. George's, Hanover Square, was carved out of 
St. Martin's, in 1724, both Knightsbridge and 
Eabury were assigned to the parish of St. George's. 
The rivulet, however, being made the western 
boundary between St. George's parish and Chelsea, 
it came about that Knightsbridge stands partly in 
all the three parishes above mentioned. When the 
bounds of St. Margaret's and other parishes were 
beaten, the parochial authorities passed through one 
part or other of the hamlet ; and we may be sure 
that many a Knightsbridge urchin was whipped at 
the frontiers in order to impress the exact limits 
indelibly on his memorj'. Indeed, in the parish 
books of St. Margaret's there are several entries of 
sums spent by the beadles, &c., at Knightsbridge, 
on the "perambulation."' Knightsbridge was, at 
all events, cut off, at a very early date, from St. 
^Margaret's parish. It would appear, therefore, 
that only a portion of the hamlet was within the 
manor of Ea, including, as Hv^arly as possible, all 
that now forms the parish of St. George's, Hanover 
Square. In Domesday Book it is given as ten 
hides ; it was afterwards divided into three manors 
— viz., Neyte, Eabury, and Hyde. The first-named 
manor Avas near the Thames ; and Hyde, with 
certain lands taken from Knightsbridge, formed 
Hyde Park. All these manors belonged to the 
Abbey till the Reformation, when they " escheated 
to" — i.e., were seized by — the king. They were 
afterwards exchanged by his most gracious and 
rapacious majesty for the dissolved Priory of 
Hurley, in Berkshire. 

Somehow or other, however, though tlie time 
and tlie way are not known, Knightsbridge reverted 
to its former owners, the Abbey of Westminster, in 
whose hands it has since remained, with the ex- 
ception of the few years of the Puritan Protectorate, 
though the outlying lands about Kensington Gore 
passed into lay hands, as also did the manor of 
Eabury, in which it would seem that there was 
abundance of game, and large portions of waste 

land laid open to them for the pasturage of their 
cattle. Be this as it may, however, the manor 
passed into the hands first of the Whashes, or 
Walshes, and then into those of a family named 
Davis, the last male of whom, Alexander Davis, 
left an only daughter and heiress, Mary, who, in 
1676, was married, at St. Clement Danes' Churchy 
to Sir Thomas Grosvenor, into whose hands she 
carried the manor, as already stated. Her lineal 
descendants, it is almost needless to state, are the 
present Duke of Westminster and Lord Ebury. 

The bridge Avhich spanned the Westbourne, and 
gave its name to the hamlet of Knightsbridge, is 
described by Strype as of stone, and probably is 
the same which lasted down to our own day. It 
stood where now is Albert Gate, and probably 
portions of it are still embedded in the high road a 
few yards south of that entrance, and opposite to 
Lowndes Square. The stream is now little more 
than the surplus water of the Serpentine, which 
passes here in a covered drain under the high road ; 
but Mr. Davis tells us that, as lately as 1809, it 
overflowed its banks so much that the " neighbour- 
hood became a lake, and that foot-passengers were 
for several days rowed from Chelsea by Thames 

As far back as the reign of Edward III. (1361), 
we find Knightsbridge spoken of as "a town;" for 
during the plague in that reign a royal edict was 
issued from the Palace at Westminster, to the effect 
" that all bulls, oxen, hogs, and other grass crea- 
tures to be slain for the sustenance of the people, 
be led as far as the town of Stratford on the one 
side of London, and the totvn of Knig/ilsbi-idge on 
the other, to be slain." 

In Thornton's '^Survey of London," published 
in 1780, Knightsbridge is described as "a village a 
little to the east of Kensington, with many public- 
houses and several new buildings lately erected, 
but none of them sufficiently remarkable to admit 
of particular description." Indeed, it was not till 
quite the end of the last century, or, perhaps, early 
in the present, that Knightsbridge became fairly 
joined on to the metropohs. A letter, in 1783, 
describes the place as "quite out of London." 
And sp it must have been, for as late as that 
date, writes Mr. Davis, " the stream ran open, the 
streets were unpaved and unlighted, and a May- 
pole was still on the village green. It is not ten 
years [he wrote in 1854] since the hawthorn hedge 
has disappeared entirely from the Gore, and the 

blackbird and starling might still be heard 

Few persons imagine, perhaps, that within the 
recollection of some who have not long passed 
from us, snipes and woodcocks might occasionally 




be found. Forty years since there was neither a 
draper's nor a butcher's shop between Hyde Park 
Corner and Sloane Street, and only one in the 
whole locality where a newspaper or writing-paper 
could be bought. There was no conveyance to 
London but a kind of stage-coach ; the roads were 
dimly lighted by oil ; and the modern paving to be 
seen only along Knightsbridge Terrace. Till about 
1835 ^ watch-house and pound remained at the 
east end of Middle Row ; and the stocks were to 
be seen, as late as 1S05, at the end of Park-side, 
almost opposite the Conduit." 

The high road which led through Knightsbridge 
towards Kensington, and so on to Brentford, was, 
two centuries ago, very badly kept an(t maintained, 
as regards both its repairs and the security of those 
who passed along it. There was no lack of inns 
about Knightsbridge, but the reputation of their 
keepers would not bear much inquiry, as it is 
almost certain that they were in league with the 
Iiighwaymen who infested the road. As a proof of 
the former part of our assertion, it may be men- 
tioned that when Sir Thomas A\'yatt brought up 
liis forces to attack London, this was the route by 
which they came. " The state of the road," we 
are told, " materially added to their discomfiture, 
and so great was the delay thereby occasioned that 
the Queen's party Avere able to make every pre- 
l^aration, and when \\'yatt's men reached London, 
ilieir jaded appearance gained them the name of 
' Draggle-tails.' " In this condition, however, things 
remained for more than a century and a half; for, 
in 1736, when the Court had resided at Kensington 
for nearly fifty years. Lord Hervey writes to his 
mother thus, under date November 27th: — ''The 
road between this place (Kensington) and London 
is grown so infamously bad, that we live here in the 
same solitude we should do if cast on a rock in the 
middle of the ocean ; and all the Londoners tell 
us tliere is between them and us a great impassable 
gulf of mud. There are two roads through the 
park ; but the new one is so convex, and the old 
■one so concave, that by this extreme of faults they 
agree in the common one of being, like the high 
road, impassable." 

As to the danger from footpads to which tra- 
vellers were exposed on the high road between 
Kensington and London, we will quote the follow- 
ing proofs. In the register of burials at Kensing- 
ton is the following entry, v/hich speaks for itself: 
— " 1687, 25th November. — Thomas Ridge, of 
Portsmoutli, who was killed by thieves almost at 
Knightsbridge." John Evelyn, too, writes in his 
"Diary," November 25th, 1699: — "This week 
robberies were committed between the many lights 

which were fixed between London and Kensington 
on both sides, and while coaches and travellers 
were passing." Lady Cowper, too, has the fol- 
lowing entry in her " Diary," in October, 1715 : — 
" I was at Kensington, where I intended to stay 
as long as the camp was in Hyde Park, the roads 
being so secure by it that we might come from 
London at any time of the night without danger, 
which I did very often." 

It is clear, from the Gentleman' s Magazine for 
April, 1740, that about a quarter of a century later 
matters were as bad as ever. " The Bristol mail," 
writes Sylvanus Urban, " was robbed, a little beyond 
Knightsbridge, by a man on foot, who took the 
Bath and Bristol bags, and, mounting the postboy's 
horse, rode off towards London." Four years later 
three men were executed for highway robberies 
committed here ; and in another attempted high- 
way robbery, a little westward of the bridge at 
Knightsbridge, we read of a footpad being shot 

This being the case, we need not be surprised to 
find, from the Morning Chronicle of May 23, 1799, 
that it was necessary at the close of last century to 
order a party of light horse to patrol every night 
the road from Hyde Park Corner to Kensington ; 
and Mr. Davis, in his work already quoted, states 
that persons then (1854) alive well remembered 
when " pedestrians walked to and from Kensing- 
ton in bands sufficient to ensure mutual protec- 
tion, starting on their journey only at knoA^Ti 
intervals, of which a bell gave due warning." It 
would, however, be unfair to suppose that Knights- 
bridge, in this respect, was worse than any other 
suburb of London at that time, as we have already 
shown in our accounts of Marylebone, Tottenham 
Court Road, and other parts. 

In proof of the bad character of the innkeepers 
of Knightsbridge, we may mention that Sheffield, 
Duke of Buckingham, tells us that when about to 
be engaged in a duel with the Earl of Rochester, 
he and his second " lay over-night at Knightsbridge 
privately, to avoid being secured at London upon 
any suspicion ■" adding, that he and his frienid 
"had the appearance of highwaymen, for which the 
people of the house liked us all the better." Sa 
also in The Rehearsal, written to satirise Dryden, 
we find the following dialogue, the drift of which is 
obvious : — • 

Smith : But pray, Mr. Bayes, is not this a little difficult, 
that you were saying e'en now, to keep an army thus con- 
cealed in Knightsbridge ? 

Bayes : In Knightsbridge ? No, not if the innlcecper be 
his friends. 

The "wood at Kyngesbrigg," of which we have 




spoken, and which modern topographers identify 
Avith the spot where now stands Lowndes Square, 
may give us some ckie to the character of the 
neighbourhood six or seven hundred years ago. 
No doubt, it formed a portion of that forest with 
Avhich, as we learn from Fitz-Stephen, London was 
surrounded on almost every side. " It owned no 
lord," says Mr. Davis, " and the few inhabitants 
enjoyed free chase and other rights in it. It was 

every reason to believe, both from local tradition, 
and also from the helmets, swords, &c., which 
from time to time have been dug up in the neigh- 
bourhood, that it was the scene of more than one 
encounter between the Royal and Parliamentary 
forces in the time of Charles I. Here, too, was 
the house occupied by the " infamous " Lord 
Howard, of Escrick, by whose perjured evidence 
so noble a patriot as Algernon Sidney was sent to 

■KING GARliEN, '•WORLi/s END." {From a Dra'i'ii!^ ill Mr. Crace's Collection.) 

disafforested by order of Henry III.; and in the 
reign of his son, Edward I., if we may trust Mr. 
Lysons, Knightsbridge was a manor belonging to the 
Abbey. To their lands here, in' the course of the 
next half century or so, the monks added others at 
Westbourne, and both were jointly erected into a 
manor — that of ' Knightsbridge and Westbourne ' — 
a name still retained in legal documents." I\Ir. 
Davis adds that "the whole of the isolated parts of 
St. Margaret's [iarisli — including a part of Kensing- 
ton, its palace, and gardens — are included in this 

As we have already related, Knightsbridge was 
the last halting-place of Sir Thomas Wyatt and 
his Kentish followers, before his foolish assault on 
London in the reign of Queen ^L^ry : and there is 

the block. Roger North, .in his "Examen," tells us 
that when the Rye House Plot became knoAA-n, the 
king commanded that Howard should be arrested, 
and that accordingly his house was searched by 
the Serjeant-at-Arms, to whom he surrendered at 
discretion. He saved his own life by despicably 
turning round upon the partners of his guilt. Many 
allusions to his conduct on this occasion will be 
found in the satires and ballads of the day, of 
which the following may be taken as an average 
specimen :-- 

" Was it not .1 d thing 

That Russell and Hampden 

Should serve all the projects of hot-headed Tory ? 
But much more untoward 
To appoint my Lord Howard 

Of his own pm-se and credit to ra-se men and money? 






Who at Knightsbridge did hide 

Those brisk boys unspy'd, 
That at Shaftesbury's whistle were ready to follow, 

But when aid he should bring, 

Like a true Brentford king, 
lie was here with a whoop and there with a hollo ! " 

Through Knightsbridge passed the corpse of 
Henry VIIL, on its way to its last resting-place at 
Windsor The fact is thus recorded in the parish 
books of St. Margaret's : — " Paid to the poor men 
that did bere the copis (copes) and other neces- 
saries to Knightsbridge, when that the King was 
brought to his buryal to Wynsor, and to the men 
that did ring the bells, 3 shillings." 

The next historical event connected with this 
neighbourhood is the intended assassination of 
William III. by two Jacobite gentlemen — curiously 
enough, named Barclay and Perkins — in 1694. 
Their plan was to waylay the king on his return to 
Kensington from some hunting expedition, and to 
shoot him. The plot, however, was revealed by 
one of their accomplices, who met at the " Swan 
Inn," Knightsbridge, to arrange the time and place; 
and the two principals were hung at Tyburn, though 
they never carried their plot into execution. 

The " Swan," two centuries ago, was an inn of 
so bftd a reputation, as to be the terror of jealous 
husbands and anxious fatliers, and is often alluded 
to as such in some of the comedies of the time ; as, 
for instance, in Ot way's Soldier of Fortune, where 
Sir David Dance says : '•' I have surely lost her 
{my daughter), and shall never see her more ; she 
promised me strictly to stay at home till I came 
back again. . . . For aught I know, she may 
be taking the air as far as Knightsbridge, with 
■some smooth-faced rogue or another. 'Tis a bad 
liouse, that Swan ; the Swan at Knightsbridge is a 
•confounded house." The house has also the 
lionour, such as it is, of being mentioned by Tom 
Brown in his '• School Days," and also by Peter 

More recently, Knightsbridge has gained some 
•celebrity, as the scene of one or two passing riots, 
as, for instance, in the year 1768, on the election 
of Wilkes for Middlesex. " It was customary," 
Avrites Mr. Davis, " for a London mob to meet the 
Brentford mob in or about Kniglitsbridge ; and 
as Wilkes' opponent Avas riding through with a 
l)ody of his supporters, one of them hoisted a flag, 
on which was inscribed 'No Blasphemer,' and 
terrible violence instantly ensued." Again, in 1803, 
another election riot, in which one or two lives 
were lost, took place in the High Street, Sir Francis 
Burdett being the popular favourite. Another riot 
took place here in 1821, at the funeral of two men 

who had been shot by the soldiers at the funeral 
of Queen Caroline. 

It should, perhaps, be mentioned here, in illus- 
tration of the strongly-marked character of the 
inhabitants of the locality, that in the days of 
Burdett, when politics ran high, the people of 
Knightsbridge were mostly " Radicals of the first 
water." At that time " Old Glory," as Sir Francis 
Burdett was called before his conversion to Toryism, 
was in every respect the man of their choice as 
member for Westminster. And it was in compli- 
ment to the inhabitants of Knightsbridge, and in 
acknowledgment of their support, that he and his 
colleague, Sir John Hobhouse, on one occasion, 
when " chaired," chose to make their start from 
the corner of Sloane Street. 

From a chance allusion in Butler's " Hudibras " 
to this place, it may be inferred that in the Puritan 
times it formed the head-quarters of one of the 
hundred-and-one sects into which the " religious 
world" of that day was divided; for the dominant 
faction are there accused of having — 

" Filled Bedlam with predestination 
Anl Knightsbridge with illumination." 

As stated in the previous chapter, the com- 
mencement of the Knightsbridge Road is about 
fifty yards west of the Alexandra Hotel. Here, 
at the corner of the main road and of Wilton 
Place, stood formerly a tobacconist's shop, which 
very much narrowed the thoroughfare, and was not 
removed till about the year 1840. It was occupied 
by an eccentric old woman, a ]\Irs. Dowell, who 
was so extremely partial to the Duke of Wellington, 
that she was constantly devising some new plan 
by which to show her regard for him. She sent 
him from time to time patties, cakes, and other 
delicacies of the like kind ; and as it was found 
impossible to defeat the old woman's pertinacity, 
the dtike's servants took in her presents. To 
such a pitch did she carry her mania, that she is 
said to have laid a knife and fork regularly for 
him at her own table day by day, constantly ex- 
pecting that the duke would sooner or later do 
her the honour of dropping in and " taking pot 
luck " with her. In this hope, however, we believe 
we may Sc^fely assert that she was doomed to dis- 
appointment to the last. 

At the back of the above-mentioned house was 
in former times one of the most noted suburban 
retreats in the neighbourhood of London, called the 
" Spring Garden," a place of amusement formed in 
the grounds of an old mansion which stood on the 
north side of what is now Lowndes Square. Dr. 
King, of Oxford, mentions it in his diary as "an 
excellent spring garden ;" and among the entries 




of the Virtuosi, or St. Luke's Club, founded by 
Vandyck, is the following item : — " Paid— Spent 
at Spring Gardens, by Knightsbridge, forfeiture, 
;^3 15s." Pepys also, no doubt, refers to these 
same gardens in his " Diary," when he writes : — 
" I lay in my drawers and stockings and waistcoat 
[at Kensington] till five of the clock, and so up ; 
and being well pleased with our frolic, walked to 
Knightsbridge, and there ate a mess of cream ; and 
so on to St. James's." Again, too, on another 
occasion : — "From the town, and away out of the 
Park, to Knightsbridge, and there ate and drank 
in the coach ; and so home." It is probable that 
the sign of the house in this Spring Garden was 
the "World's P^nd," for the following entry in Mr. 
Pepys' " Diary " can hardly refer to any other place 
but this : — "Forth to Hyde Park, but was too soon 
to go in ; so went on to Knightsbridge, and there 
ate and drank at the ' World's End,' where we had 
good things ; and then back to the Park, and there 
till night, being fine weather, and much company." 
And again, the very last entry in his "Diar}-," under 
date of May 31st, 1669: — "'J'o the Park, Mary 
Botelier and a Dutch gentleman, a friend of hers, 
being with us. Thence to the ' World's End,' a 
(Irinking-house by the Park, and there merry, and 
so home late." 

The " World's End," it may be added, figures in 
a dialogue in Congreve's Love for Love, in a way 
which imj)lies that it bore no very high character. 

The house to which this garden was attached, 
having been successively occupied as a museum of 
anatomy, an auction-room, and a carpenter's work- 
shop, was pulled down about the year 1826, in 
order to lay out the ground for building. Lowndes 
Square, however, was not begun till about 1838, or 
completed till 1848 or 1849. The stream which 
ran along the west side of Spring Gardens had 
along its banks a path leading down to Bloody 
Bridge, and thence to Ranelagh. On grand gala 
nights this path was protected by a patrol, or by 
the more able of the Chelsea pensioners. It only 
remains to add that various relics of the Civil War 
have been discovered upon this site, such as swords, 
spurs, and bits, and other relics telling of more 
modern and more prosaic encounters, such as 
staves and handcuffs, tokens of successful or un- 
successful struggles between footpads and con- 

A little west of Wilton Place, a narrow roadway, 
called Porter's Lane, led into some fields, in which 
stood an old mansion, known as Knightsbridge 
Grove, and approached from the highway by an 
avenue of fine trees. This is the house which, 
about 1790, was taken by the celebrated Mrs. 

Cornelys, under the assumed name of Mrs. Smithy 
as a place for company to drink new asses' milk. 
After the failure of all her plans and schemes to 
secure the support of the world of fashion for her 
masquerades and concerts at Carlisle House, in 
Soho Square, as we have already seen,'' and not 
cast down by the decree of the Court of Chancery^ 
under which her house and furniture were sold by 
auction in 1785, here she fitted up a suite of rooms 
for the reception of visitors who wished to break- 
fast in public. But the manners of the age were 
changed, and her taste had not adapted itself to the 
varieties of fashion. After much expense incurred 
in the gaudy embellishment of her rooms after the 
foreign fashion, she was obliged to abandon her 
scheme, and to seek a refuge from her merciless 
creditors. A former queen — or rather empress — of 
fashion, she closed her eccentric and varied career 
a prisoner for debt in the Fleet Prison, in August, 
1797. The house Avas afterwards kept by a 
sporting character, named Hicks, under whom it 
was frequently A-isited by George, Prince Regent, 
and his friends. 

The entrance into Hyde Park, opposite Lowndes 
Square, is named Albert Gate, after the late Prince 
Consort ; the houses which compose it stand as 
nearly as possible on the site of the old bridge 
over the Westbourne, which ga\e its name to the 
locality. We gave a view of this old bridge in 
our last volume, page 402. Mr. Davis, in his 
" Memorials of Knightsbridge," tells us that there 
was also another bridge across this brook, just 
inside the park to the north, erected in 1734. At 
the Avest end of the former bridge stood, at one 
time, a celebrated inn, known as the " Fox and 
Bull," traditionally said to have been founded in 
the reign of Elizabeth, and to have been used by 
her on her visits to Lord Burleigh at Brompton.. 
The house is referred to in the Tatler, No. 259, 
and it is said to be the only inn that bore that 
sign. " At the ' Fox and Bull,' " writes Mr. Davis, 
" for a long while was maintained that Queen 
Anne style of society where persons of ' parts ' and 
reputation were to be met with in rooms open tO' 
all. A Captain Corbet was for a long time its- 
head ; a Mr. Shaw, of the War Office, supplied the 
Lo7uion Gazette, and W. Harris, of Covent Garden 
Theatre, his play-bills." Among its visitors may 
be named George Morland, and his patron, Sir 
W. W. Wynn, and occasionally Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
Avho painted its sign, which was blown down in a 
storm in 1807. The "Fox and Bull," it may be 
added, served for some years as a receiving-house- 

See Vol. III., p. 1S8. 



of the Royal Humane Society, in Hyde Park. 
Hither was brought the body of the first wife of the 
poet Shelley, afler she had drowned herself in the 
Serpentine; and here the judicial business of the 
locality was conducted, a magistrate sitting once 
a week for tliat purpose. The old house was 
Elizabethan in structure, and contained rooms and 
ceilings panelled and carved in the style of her 
day, and with large fire-places and fire-dogs. The 
house stood till the year 1835. The skeletons of 
several men were found beneath it in the course of 
some excavations in the early part of the present 
century, these were supposed to have been those 
of soldiers killed here in the Civil ^Var. 

On the east side of the old bridge was a low 
court of very old houses, named after the " White 
Hart Inn," but these were swept away about 1841. 
The stags on the side pedestals of the gate, we 
learn from the " Memorials of Knightsbridge," 
were modelled from a pair of prints by Bartolozzi, 
and formerly kept watch and ward in Piccadilly, at 
the entrance to the Ranger's Lodge in the Green 

^^'hen this entrance was first formed, the late 
^Nlr. Thomas Cubitt designed and built two very 
lofty mansions on either side, v/hich were sneer- 
ingly styled the " Two Gibraltars," because it was 
prophesied that they never would or could be 
" taken." Taken, however, they were ; that on 
the eastern side was the town residence of the 
" Railway King," George Hudson, before his fall ; 
it has since been occupied as the French Embassy. 
Queen Victoria paid a visit to the Embassy in 
state in 1854, and the Emperor Louis Napoleon 
held a leve'e here, on his visit to London, in the 
summer of the following year. 

"The career of George Hudson, ridiculously 
styled the ' Railway King,' " writes Mr. J. Timbs, 
in his " Romance of London," " was one of the 
ignes fatui of tlie railway mania of 1844-5. He 
was born in a lowly house in College Street, 
York, in 1800; here he served his apprenticeship 
to a linendraper, and subsequently carried on the 
business as principal, amassing considerable wealth. 
His fortune was next increased by a bequest from 
a distant relative, which sum he invested in North- 
Midland Railway shares. Mr. Smiles describes 
Hudson as a man of some local repute when the 
line between Leeds and York was projected. His 
views as to railways were then extremely moderate, 
and his main object in joining the undertaking was 
to secure for York the advantages of the best 
railway communication. . . . The grand test 

* See Vol. IV., p. iSo. 

by which the shareholders judged him was the 
dividends which he paid, although subsequent 
events proved that these "dividends were, in many 
cases, delusive, intended only to make things 
pleasant. The policy, however, had its effect. 
The shares in all the lines of which he was chair- 
man went to a premium ; and then arose the 
temptation to create new shares in branch and 
extension lines, often worthless, which were issued 
at a premium also. Thus he shortly found himself 
cliairman of nearly 600 miles of railways, extending 
from Rugby to Newcastle, and at the head of 
numerous new projects, by means of which paper 
wealth could be created, as it were, at pleasure. 
He held in his own hands almost the entire 
administrative power of chairman, board, manager, 
and all. Mr. Hudson was voted praises, testi- 
monials, and surplus shares alike liberally, and 
scarcely a word against him could find a hearing. 

"The Hudson testimonial was a taking thing, 
for J\Ir. Hudson had it in his power to allot shares 
(selling at a premium) to the subscribers to the 
testimonial. With this fund he bought of Mr. 
Thomas Cubitt, for ;^i 5,000, the lofty house on 
the east of Albert Gate, Hyde Park. There he 
lived sumptuously, and went his round of visits 
among the peerage. 

" Mr. Hudson's brief reign soon drew to a 
close. The speculation of 1845 was followed by 
a sudden reaction. Shares went down faster than 
they had gone up : the holders of them hastened 
to sell in order to avoid payment of the calls ; and 
many found themselves ruined. Then came repent- 
ance, and a sudden return to virtue. The golden 
calf was found to be of brass, and hurled down, 
Hudson's own toadies and sycophants eagerly 
joining in the chorus of popular indignation ; and 
the bubbles having burst, the railway mania came 
to a sudden and ignominious end." 

The rest of the site now covered by Albert 
Gate was occupied by the Cannon Brewery — so 
called from a cannon which surmounted it — and 
was surrounded by low and filthy courts with open 
cellars. The celebrated Chinese collection of Mr. 
Dunn was located here in the interval between the 
removal of the brewery and the erection of the 
present sumptuous edifices. 

It is not a little singular that among all the 
changes as to the limits of parishes, it should 
have been forgotten that, from time immemorial, 
there was a chapel in tlie main street of Knights- 
bridge which could very easily, at any time, have 
been made parochial. This edifice, known as 
Trinity Chapel, still stands, though much altered, 
between the north side of the main street and 



the park ; it was, in ancient times, attached to 
a lazar-house, of the early history of Avhich little 
or nothing is known. No doubt it was formed 
before the Reformation, though the earliest notice 
of it in writing is in a grant of James I., to 
be seen in the British Museum, ordering " the 
hospital for sick, lame, or impotent people at 
Knightsbridge ■'' to be supplied with water by an 
underground pipe, laid on from the conduit in 
Hyde Park. Lysons, however, tells us, in his 
" Environs of London," that there is among the 
records of the Chapter of Westminster a short 
]MS. statement of the condition of the hospital in 
the latter part of Elizabeth's reign, from which 
it appears that it generally had about thirty-five 
inmates, and that it was supported by the contri- 
butions of charitable persons, being quite unen- 
dowed. The patients, it appears from this docu- 
ment, attended prayers mornings and evenings in 
the chapel, the neighbours also being admitted to 
the services on Sunday. The inmates dined on 
'• warm meat and porrege," and each one had 
assigned to him, or her, a separate " dish, platter, 
and tankard, to kepe the broken for the whole." 

A few notes on the disbursement made on behalf 
of the poor inmates, taken from the parish books 
of St. Margaret's, will be found in Mr. Nichols' 
" Illustrations of the Manners and Experiences of 
Ancient Times." The latter history of the hos- 
pital is almost as uncertain as its earlier chapters. 
We know even the names of a few of the 
" cripples," and other inmates — mostly wayfarers 
— who were discharged from it, after having been 
relieved; but although it was certainly in existence 
when Newcourt was collecting materials for his 
" Repertorium," in the reign of George I., no 
further trace of its existence or of its demolition 
can be found. It is traditionally asserted, how- 
ever, that in the time of the Great Plague of 1665, 
the lazar-house was used as a hospital for those 
stricken by that disorder, and that such as died 
within its walls were buried in the enclosed tri- 
angular plot of ground which was once part of 
Knightsbridge Green. A writer in the first volume 
of JVoftrs and Queries states that in the case of 
leprosy arising in London, the infected persons 
were taken off speedily into one of the lazar- 
houses in the suburbs. " The law was strictly 
carried out, and where resistance was made the 
sufferers were tied to horses, and dragged thither 
by force." 

The chapel, being " very old and ruinous," was 
rebuilt by a subscription among the inhabitants of 
Knightsbridge, and opened as a chapel of ease 
by the authority of Laud, then Bisli,op of London, 

who licensed a minister to perform service in it. 
During the Commonwealth it was served by a 
minister appointed by the Parliament, and after- 
wards passed into lay hands. In the end, how- 
ever, it was given back to the Dean and Chapter 
of Westminster ; this body still appoints the in- 
cumbent, who is supported by a small endowment 
and the pew-rents. 

The present chapel, now called the Church of 
Holy Trinity, was entirely restored and remodelled 
in 1 86 1, from the designs of Messrs. Brandon and 
Eyton. It is a handsome Gothic building, with 
accommodation for about 650 worshippers, and 
was erected at a cost of about ;:^3,3oo. The 
principal peculiarity about it is the roof, which is 
so constructed as to have a continuous range of 
clerestory lights the whole length of the church. 
These are accessible from the outside, so as to 
regulate the ventilation. 

The chapel possesses some good communion 
plate. In the list of its ministers occur no names 
of note, unless it be worth while to recoi-d that of 
the Rev. Dr. Symons, who read the funeral service 
over Sir John Moore at Conmna. 

In the registers of the chapel is recorded only 
one burial, under date 1667. It is probable that 
those who died in this hamlet were buried at St, 
Margaret's, Westminster, or at Chelsea, or Ken- 
sington. Mr. Davis, however, mentions a tradi- 
tion that the enclosure on Knightsbridge Green 
was formerly used as a burying-ground. If this be 
so, the records of the fact have long since been 
lost. The statement, however, may have reference 
to the victims of the plague, as stated above. 

The registers of baptisms are still in existence, 
and so are those of the marriages solemnised here 
— some of them, as might be expected, rather 
irregular, especially before the passing of Lord 
Hardwicke's Marriage Act in 1753, which seems 
to have put an extinguisher on such scandals. 
With reference to these irregular or " stolen" mar- 
riages, a writer in the Saturday Review observes : — 
" This was one of the places where irregular mar- 
riages were solemnised, and it is accordingly often 
noticed by the old dramatists. Thus in Shadwell's 
Sullen Lovers, Lovell is made to say, ' Let's dally 
no longer ; there is a person in Knightsbridge that 
pokes all stray people together. We'll to him; 
he'll dispatch us presently, and send us away as 
lovingly as any two fools that ever yet were con- 
demned to marriage.' Some of the entries in this 
marriage register are suspicious enough — ' secrecy 
for life,' or ' great secrecy,' or ' secret for fourteen 
years,' being appended to the names. Mr. Davis, 
i in his ' Memorials of Knightsbridge,' was the first 




to exhume from this document the name of the 
adventuress, ' Mrs. ALary Ayhss,' whom Sir Samuel 
Alorland married as his fourth wife, in 1687. The 
readers of Pepys will remember how pathetically 
IMorland wrote, eighteen days after the wedding, 
that, when he had expected to marry an heiress, ' I 
was, about a fortnight since, led as a fool to the 
stocks, and married a coachman's daughter not 
w'orth a shilling.' In 1699, an entry mentions one 

before her marriage as Lady Mary Tudor; and 
lastly, the great Sir Robert Walpole, to a daughter 
of the Lord ]\Layor of London, by whom he 
became the father of Horace Walpole. Many of 
the marriages here solemnised were runaway 
matches, and, as such, are marked in the registers 
with the words "private " and " secresy." 

Of the barracks at Knightsbridge, facing the 
Park, usually occupied by one of the regiments of 


' Storey at y" Park Gate.' This worthy it was who 
gave his name to what is now known as Storey's 
Gate. He was keeper of the aviary to Charles II., 
whence was derived the name of the Birdcage 
U'alk. In the same year, Cornelius Van der Velde, 
limner, was married here to Bernada Van der 
Hagen. This was a brother of the famous William 
Van der Velde, the elder, and himself a painter of 
nautical pictures, in the employment of Charles II." 
Among those who were married here, witli more 
or less of secrecy or privacy, not mentioned in the 
above extract, were Sir John Lenthall, son of the 
Speaker of the House of Commons under Cromwell ; 
the widow of the second Earl of Derwentwater — 
this lady was the youngest natural daughter of 
Charles II., by the actress, Mrs. Davis, known 

the Guards, there is litde to say, except that they 
are badly placed, and an eyesore to the neigh- 
bourhood. They consist of a range of dull heavy 
brick buildings, and were erected in 1794-5. They 
will accommodate about 600 men, and there is 
stabling for 500 horses. In the centre of the 
building is an oblong parade-ground, around which 
are apartments for the private soldiers. At the 
west end is a riding-school, and a wing cut up into 
residences for the officers. The removal of these 
barracks has often been discussed in Parliament, 
and it is to be hoped that some day they will 
be reckoned among things of the past. 

At the corner of South Place and Hill Street, 
nearly opposite the barracks, stands the celebrated 
floor-cloth manufactory of Messrs, Smith and 

Knightsbridge. ] 



Barber. It was established as far back as the year 
1754, and is said to be the oldest manufactory of the 
kind in London. The first block used for patterns 
was cut by its founder, Mr. Abraham Smith, and 
is still preserved in the factory. An illustration 
of it is given in Dodd's " British Manufactures," 
where the process of the manufacture will be found 
minutely described. In the adjoining house, No. 2, 
lived the Rev. Mr. Gamble, one of the incumbents 

temporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon"), who 
married as her second husband Sir George C. Lewis, 
M.P., some time Chancellor of the Exchequer. He 
died here in 1863. Next door to it is Stratheden 
House, so named after the wife of Lord Chancellor 
Campbell, who wrote here his " Lives of the Chan- 
cellors." He died here suddenly in June, 1861. 
The mansion had previously been owned by Lord 
De Dunstanville. 


of Knightsbridge Chapel ; and after him Mr. 
Edward Stirling, known as the "Thunderer" of 
the Times, from whom it passed to his son, the 
gifted and amiable John Stirling, whose early death 
was so much lamented. There he used to receive 
among his visitors Professor Maurice, John Stuart 
Mill, and Thomas Carlyle ; and here Sir Colin 
Campbell took up his residence for a time between 
his Crimean and his last Indian campaign. 

Kent House, so called after the late Duke of 
Kent, who for a short time resided in it, and added 
considerably to its size, stands only a few yards to 
the west of South Place. It was for many years 
the residence of a brother of the late Earl of 
Clarendon, and afterwards of his widow. Lady 
Theresa Villiers (author of " The Friends and Co-. 

It was at Kingston House — situated some little 
distance westward of Kent House — that, on the 
26th of September, 1842, the eminent statesman, 
the Marquis Wellesley, died, at the age of eighty-two. 
He was the elder brother of the " great " Duke of 
Wellington. Mr. Raikes tells us, in his "Journal : " 
"He had in his time filled various offices in the 
State at home, had been Governor-General of India, 
and twice Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He was a 
man of considerable talent and acquirements, par- 
ticularly in the Latin and Greek languages. His 
first wife was a French lady — a Madame Roland 
— formerly his mistress. His second wife was an 
American — Mrs. Patterson." ""< 

Rutland Gate, a row of houses standing a little 
westward of the barracks, on the south side of the 




road, was built about 1840, and was so called from 
a large mansion which formerly stood on the site, 
belonging to the Dukes of Rutland. Here was 
the picture-gallery of Mr. John Sheepshanks, be- 
queathed by him to the nation, and now housed in 
the Sheepshanks Gallery at the South Kensington 
iMuseum. It was rich in works by Mulready, 
Leslie, and Landseer. 

Ennismore Place, close by Prince's Gate, is so 
called from the second title of the Earl of Listowel, 
to whom the ground on which they stand belongs 
or belonged. 

Brompton Road is the name given to a row of 
houses built about the year 1840, on what was the 
garden of Grosvenor House. At a house here, 
then numbered 45, Brompton Row, but now 168, 
Brompton Road, lived the celebrated philanthropist 
and philosopher, Count Rumford, and afterwards 
his daughter Sarah, Countess Rumford. The count 
had come to England as an exiled loyalist from 
America, and having risen to high employ in 
England, had been sent, in 1798, as Ambassador to 
Ix)ndon from Bavaria. Here he entertained Sir 
William Pepperell, and other American loyalists. 
Owing to George IH.'s opposition to his appoint- 
ment as a diplomatic representative of Bavaria, he 
lived in a private capacity. He died in France in 
1814. The house is minutely described, in 1801, 
by ]M. Pictet, an intimate friend of the count, in a 
life of Count Rumford, published in 1876. It is 
still full, from top to bottom, of all sorts of cleverly- 
contrived cupboards, writing-desks, &c., fixed in 
the walls, and with fireplaces on a plan unlike 
those in the adjoining dwellings. It remains very 
much in the same state as in the count's time, 
though a stucco front appears to have been added. 
" The house had been let by Count Rumford to the 
Ivev. William Beloe, the translator of Herodotus, 
who quitted possession of it in 18 10. The countess, 
his daughter, lived in it and let it alternately, 
among her tenants being Sir Richard Phillips and 
Mr. Wilberforce. She disposed of the lease in 
I S3 7 to its present owners." 

On the south side of Ennismore Place is 
Brompton Square, which consists of houses open 
at the south end to the Brompton Road, and ter- 
minating at the northern end with a semi-circular 
sweep, with a gateway leading to Prince's Terrace 
and Ennismore Gardens. At No. 22 in this square 
died, in 1836, George Colman "the Younger," 
the author of JoJm Bull. Here also lived Mr. 
Luttrell, the friend of Sam Rogers, and the most 
brilliant of conversationalists temp. George IV. 
In consequence of the salubrity of the air in this 
neighbourhood, Brompton Square has long been a 

favourite abode for singers and actors. Behind the 
west side stands Brompton Church, a poor semi- 
Gothic structure, dating from about 1830. It v/as 
built from the designs of Professor Donaldson, 
and has a lofty tower and stained-glass windovvs 
of ancient design and colour. The church is 
approached by a fine avenue of lime-trees, and its 
churchyard contains a very large number of tombs ; 
all, however, are modern, and few are of interest 
to the antiquary. John Reeve, the comic actor, 
who died in 1838, is buried here. Adjoining the 
parish church stands a building in the Italian style, 
known as the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, consisting 
of a large chapel, of no architectural pretensions,. 
and a fine residence in the Italian style. They 
cover the site of a country house standing in its 
own grounds, which as lately as the year 1851 was 
used as a school. The clergy attached to the 
Oratory are secular priests, living voluntarily in a 
community, but not tied by religious vows. The 
first rector, and indeed the founder of this com- 
munity in London, was the Rev. Frederick William 
Faber, formerly of University College, Oxford, and 
well known as the author of "The Cherwell Water- 
Lily," and other poems. He died in 1S63. 

Knightsbridge, however, has in its time numbered 
many other distinguished residents. Among them. 
Lady Anne Hamilton, the faithful friend and 
attendant of the Princess Caroline of Brunswick ; 
the artist Chalon ; Paul Bedford, the actor ; 
McCarthy, the sculptor ; and Ozias Humfrey, the 
Royal Academician (the friend of Reynolds, 
Dr. Johnson, and Romney), who is thus celebrated 
by the poet Hayley, when abandoning miniatures 
for oil portraits : — 

" Thy graces, Humfrey, and thy colours clear, 
From miniature's small circle disappear ; 
May thy distinguished merit still prevail, 
And shine with lustre on a larger scale." 

Here died, in 1805, at the age of upwards of 
eighty, Arthur Murphy, the author, who ^yas a friend 
of Johnson, Reynolds, Burke, and others. Boswell 
thus relates the manner in which an acquaintance 
first commenced between Dr. Johnson and Mr. 
Murphy :— " During the publication of the Gray's 
Inn Journal, a periodical paper which was suc- 
cessfully carried on by Mr. Murphy alone, when a 
very young man, he happened to be in the country 
with Mr. Foote ; and having mentioned that he 
was obliged to go to London in order to get ready 
for the press one of the numbers of that journal, 
Foote said to him, 'You need not go on that 
account. Here is a French magazine, in which 
you will find a very pretty Oriental tale ; translate 
that, and send it to your printer.' Mr. Murphy 
having read the tale, was highly pleased with it. 

Knightsbridge. ] 



and followed Foote's advice. When he returned 
to town, this tale was pointed out to him in the 
Rambler, from whence it had been translated into 
the French magazine. Mr. Murphy then waited 
upon Johnson, to explain this curious incident. 
His talents, literature, and gentleman-like manners 
were soon perceived by Johnson, and a friendship 
was formed which was never broken." 

Here, at a farm-house which supplied the royal 
family with milk, the fair Quakeress, Hannah 
Lightfoot, is said to have resided, after she had 
captivated the susceptible heart of George IH., in 
the first year of his reign; but the story is dis- 

At the junction of Brompton Road with the 
main road through Knightsbridge, and near to 
Albert Gate, stands the great sporting rendezvous 
and auction-mart for horses, " Tattersall's." It was 
removed to this spot in 1865 from Grosvenor 
Place, where, as we have seen in the preceding 
chapter, it was originally established. The build- 
ing occupies a site previously of comparatively 
little value, and has before its entrance a small 
triangular space planted with evergreens. The 
building in itself is arranged upon much the same 
plan as that of its predecessor, which we have 
already described. Immediately on the right of 
the entrance is the subscription-room and counting- 
house, both of which are well designed to meet 
their requirements ; whilst beyond is a spacious 
covered court-yard, with a small circular structure 
in the centre, in which is a pump, surmounted by 
the figure of a fox ; the dome which covers it bears 
a bust of George IV. The fox, it is presumed, 
belongs to the poetry of Tattersall's, suggesting, as 
it does, breezy rides over hill and dale and far- 
stretching moorlands. The royal bust above 
refers to more specific facts of which the establish- 
ment can boast ; it is a type of the lofty patronage 
that has been acceded to the house from its earliest 
days. The bust represents the " first gentleman of 
Europe," as he has been, absurdly enough, called, 
in his eighteenth year, when the prince was a 
constant attendant at Tattersall's. The yard itself 
is surrounded by stabling for the horses, and 
galleries for can-iages which may be there oflfered 
for sale. The great public horse auction is on 
Mondays throughout the year, with the addition of 
Thursdays in the height of the season. The sub- 
scription to the " Rooms," which is regulated by 
the Jockey Club, is two guineas annually ; and the 
betting at Tattersall's, we need scarcely add, regu- 
lates the betting throughout the country. 

The Green, as the triangular plot of ground 
in front of Tattersall's, mentioned above, is called, 

was once really a village-green, and it had its 
village may-pole, at all events, down to the end of 
the last century. It was larger in its extent in 
former days, several encroachments having been 
made upon its area. At its east end there stood, 
till 1834, a watch-house and pound, to which 
Addison refers in a very amusing paper in the 
Spectator (No. 142). Pretending, by way of jest, 
to satisfy by home news the craving for foreign 
intelligence which the late war had created in 17 12, 
he writes : " By my last advices from Knightsbridge, 
I hear that a horse was clapped into the pound 
there on the 3rd inst., and that he was not reco- 
vered when the letters came away." A large part 
of what once was the Green is now covered by 
some inferior cottages, styled Middle Row; on 
the north side was an old inn, which rejoiced in the 
sign of the " Marquis of Granby," with reference 
to which we may be pardoned for quoting Byron's 
lines : — 

"Vernon, the 'Butcher' Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke, 
Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppell, Howe, 
Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk, 

And filled the sign-posts then as Wellesley now." 

The small portion on the north side, fenced in 
by rails, is probably the old burial-ground belong- 
ing to the Lazar House, already mentioned. 

Of Knightsbridge Terrace, now a row of shops, 
old inhabitants tell us that, when Her Majesty 
came to the throne, it consisted wholly of private 
houses. Here was Mr. Telfair's College for the 
Deaf and Dumb, and here lived Maurice Morgan, 
one of the secretaries to Lord Shelburne when the 
latter was Premier, and honourably mentioned by 
Boswell in his " Life of Johnson." Close to the 
corner of Sloane Street, too, lived Rodwell, the 

_ Among the oldest dwellings in this hamlet are 
some of the irregular houses on the south side 
of the road, between the Green and Rutland Gate. 
Mr. Davis, writing in the year 1859, in his "History 
of Knightsbridge," mentions Chalker House, built 
in 1688, now a broker's, and for many years a 
boarding-house. " Three doors beyond it," he 
continues, " is an ancient inn, now known as the 
' Rose and Crown,' but formerly as the ' Oliver 
Cromwell,' but which has borne a license for 
above three hundred years. It is the oldest house 
in Knightsbridge, and was formerly its largest inn, 
and not improbably was the house which sheltered 
Wyatt, while his unfortunate Kentish followers 
rested on the adjacent green. A tradition, told by 
all old inhabitants of the locality, that Cromwell's 
body-guard was once quartered here, is still very 
prevalent : an inscription to that effect was till 



[The Great 

lately painted on the front of the house ; and on an 
ornamental piece of plaster-work was formerly em- 
blazoned the great Lord Protector's coat of arms."' 
Mr. Davis does not guarantee the literal truth of 
this tradition, though he holds that nothing is more 
certain than that Knightsbridge was the scene of 
frequent skirmishes during the Civil War. This 
was natural enough, considering that the hamlet 
was the first place on the great western road from 
London. We know for certain that the army of 
tlae Parliament was encamped about the neighbour- 
hood in 1647, and that the head-quarters of Fairfax 
were at Holland House ; and the same was the 
case just before and after the fight at Brentford. 
It was on the strength of this, and other traditions, 
that Mr. E. H. Corbould made this inn the subject 
of a painting, "The Old Hostelrie at Knightsbridge," 
exhibited in 1849. " He laid the scene as early as 
1497. Opposite the inn is a well, surmounted by 
a figure of St. George; while beyond is the spacious 
green, the meandering stream, and the bridge over 
it, surmounted by an embattled tower ; further off 

appears the old hospital and chapel The 

house of late," continues Mr. Davis, 'Hias been 
much modernised, and in 1853 had a narrow 
escape from destruction by fire ; but enough still 
remains, in its peculiar chimneys, oval-shaped win- 
dows, its low rooms, its large yard and extensive 
stabling, with galleries above and office-like places 
beneath, to testify to its antiquity and former 
importance." It was pulled down about the year 
1865. Another hostelry in the main street was 

the " Rising Sun ; " though a wooden inn, it was 
an ancient house, and its staircase and the panelling 
of its walls were handsomely carved. On the spot 
now occupied by the Duke of Wellington's stables, 
there was also, in former times, an inn known as the 
" Life Guardsman," and previously as the " Nag's 

We may mention that a market for cattle was 
held at Knightsbridge every Thursday till an early 
year in the present century, and that the last pen 
posts were not removed till 1850. 

The air of this neighbourhood has always been 
regarded as pure and healthy. Swift brought his 
friend Harrison to it for the benefit of pure air ; 
and half a century later it maintained the same 
character, for we read that Lady Hester Stanhope 
sent a faithful servant thither, with the same object 
in view. In sooth, " Constitution" Hill at one end, 
and " Montpelier " Square at the other, both derive 
their names from this peculiarity. The fact is that 
the main street of Knightsbridge stands on a well- 
defined terrace t)f the London clay, between the 
gravel of Hyde Park and that of Pimlico, resting 
on thick layers of sand, which cause the soil to 
be porous, and rapidly to absorb the surface- 

The water-supply of Knightsbridge has always 
been remarkably good, being drawn from several 
conduits in and about Park-side and to the south of 
Rotten Row. One of these, known as St. James's, 
for the Receiving Conduit, supplied the royal 
palaces and the Abbey with water. 


" Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge 
Rose hke an exhalation." — Milton. 

Previous Exhibitions of a somewhat similar Character— The Marquis d'Aveze's projected Exhibition— Various French Expositions— Competitive- 
Exhibitions ill England— Prince Albert's Proposal for holding an Industrial Exhibition of All Nations-His Royal Highness becomes 
Chairman of the Royal Commission— Banquet at the Mansion House— Lecturers and Agents sent all over the Country, to Explain the 
Objects of the Exhibition— Reception of Plans and Designs— Mr. Paxton's Design accepted— Realisation of one of the Earliest Poetical 
Dreams in the English Language— General Description of the Building— Opening of the Exhibition by Her Majesty— Number of 
Visiters— Removal of the Building— The National Albert Memorial. 

TiLVT portion of Hyde Park, between Prince's Gate 
and the Serpentine, running parallel with the main 
road through Knightsbridge and Kensington, is 
memorable as having been the site of the great 
Industrial P^xliibition of 185 1, wherein were brought 
together, for the first time, under one spacious roof, 
for the purposes of competition, the various pro 

Before proceeding with a description of the build- 
ing and an epitome of its principal contents, it may 
not be out of place to take a brief glance at some 
previous exhibitions of a similar character, which 
had been held in France, at various times, within 
the preceding hundred years. As far back as the 
year 1756 — about the same time that our. Royal 
ductions of the inventive genius and industry of I Academy opened to the public its galleries of 
nearly all the nations of the earth. | painting, engraving, and sculpture— the productions 




of art and skill were collected and displayed in 
London, for the purpose of stimulating public 
industry and inventiveness ; and although these 
exhibitions v/ere, to a certain extent, nothing more 
than would now be termed " bazaars," they were 
found to answer so successfully the ends for which 
they were instituted, that the plan was adopted in 
France, and there continued, with the happiest 
results, even long after it had been abandoned 
in England. When the first French Revolu- 
tion was at its height, the Marquis d'Aveze pro- 
jected an exhibition of tapestry and porcelain, as a 
aneans of raising funds for relieving the distress 
then existing among the workers in those trades. 
Before, however, he could complete his arrange- 
ments, he was denounced, and on the very day 
on which his exhibition was to have been opened, 
he was compelled to fly from the vengeance of the 
Directory. So firm a hold, however, had the idea 
taken on the public mind, that it was not allowed 
to die out. A few years afterwards, on his return 
to Paris, the marquis resumed his labours, and in 
1798 actually succeeded in opening a National 
Exposition in the house and gardens of the Maison 
d'Orsay. The people flocked in great numbers 
to view the show, which altogether proved a com- 
plete success. In that same year, too, the French 
Government organised its first official Exposition 
of national manufacture and the works of industry. 
It was held on the Champ de Mars, in a building 
constructed for the purpose, called the Temple of 
Industry, Three years later a second Exposition 
tool: place, and more than two hundred exhibitors 
■competed for the prizes offered for excellence. In 
the following year a third Exposition was held on 
the same spot, the number of exhibitors increasing 
to upwards of four hundred. So great was the 
success of these several shows, that out of them arose 
an institution similar to our Society of Arts, called 
the Societe d'Encoi/rageinent, a society to which the 
working classes of France are largely indebted for 
the taste which they have acquired for the beautiful 
in art, and for the cultivation of science as a hand- 
maid to industry. In 1806 the fourth French Ex- 
position was held in a building erected in front of 
the Hopital des Invalides ; this was even more 
successful than its predecessors ; for while the pre- 
vious Expositions had each remained open only 
about a week, this one was kept open for twenty- 
four days, and was visited by many thousands of 
people. The number of exhibitors rose from 
about five hundred to nearly fifteen hundred, and 
nearly every department of French industry was 
represented. At diff"erent periods between the 
years 1 8 1 9 and 1 849, seven other Expositions were 

held in France, the last of which was restricted to 
national products. The Industrial Show of 1855, 
however, was, like our own Great Exhibition of 
185 1, international. 

During all this time there had grown up in Eng- 
land exhibitions, consisting chiefly of agricultural 
implements and cattle, together with local exhibi- 
tions of arts and manufactures. In Birmingham, 
Leeds, Manchester, Dublin, and other great centres 
of industry, bazaars, after the French pattern, had 
been successfully held from time to time. The one 
which most nearly approached the idea ot the 
French Exposition, in the variety and extent of the 
national productions displayed, was the Free Trade 
Bazaar, held for twelve days, in 1845, in Covent 
Garden Theatre — an exhibition which excited con- 
siderable public interest, and doubtless did much 
to make the London public acquainted with many 
arts and manufactures of which they had hitherto 
had but a very confused and imperfect knowledge. 

Roused from their remissness by the success that 
had attended the various French Expositions, the 
English people, during the years 1847 and 1848, 
re-opened their exhibitions, chiefly at the instigation 
and by the aid of the Society of Arts, by whom 
the plan had been revived. So great was now the 
importance of these industrial displays, that they 
became a subject of national consideration ; but it 
was felt that something more was necessary than 
France or England had as yet attempted to give 
them their proper development and effect. 

At this point, an idea was entertained by the late 
Prince Consort of gathering together into one place 
the best specimens of contemporary art and skill, 
and the natural productions of every soil and 
climate, instead of the mere local or national pro- 
ductions of France and England. "It was to be a 
whole world of nature and art collected at the call 
of the queen of cities— a competition in which 
every country might have a place, and every variety 
of intellect its claim and chance of distinction. 
Nothing great, or beautiful, or useful, be its native 
home where it might ; not a discovery or invention, 
however humble or obscure; not a candidate, how- 
ever lowly his rank, but would obtain admission, 
and be estimated to the full amount of genuine 
worth. It was to be to the nineteenth what the 
tournament had been to the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries — a challenge at once and welcome to all 
comers, and to which every land could send, not its 
brightest dame and bravest lance, as of yore, but its 
best produce and happiest device for the promotion 
of universal happiness and brotherhood."* 

* "Comprehensive History of England," vol. iv., p. 79?. 



[The Great 

The undertaking received Her Majesty's royal 
sanction on the 3rd of Januar}', 1850 ; on the nth 
of the same month the Royal Commissioners held 
their first meeting; and on the T4th of February 
Prince Albert sat as Chairman of the Commission. 
On the 2ist of March the Lord Mayor of London 
invited the mayors of nearly all the cities, boroughs, 
and towns of the United Kingdom to a banquet at 
the Mansion House to meet the Prince, and upon 

At first, many manufacturers and merchants in 
foreign countries were exceedingly averse to the 
proposed Exhibition ; but, as was the case with 
those at home, discussion and better information 
led to more enlightened views. Prince Albert, in 
his speech at a banquet held at York, said, in the 
name of the Royal Commission : — " Although we 
perceive in some countries an apprehension that 
the advantages to be derived from the Exhibition 


that occasion his Royal Highness lucidly explained 
the object of the proposed undertaking. 

The Exhibition, it was announced, was to belong 
exclusively to the people themselves of every nation, 
instead of being supported and controlled by their 
respective governments ; and in order that nothing 
might be wanting in its character as a great com- 
petitive trial, the sum of ^20,000 was set apart for 
the expense of prizes, which were to be awarded 
to the successful competitors. At first, the real 
magnitude and the great difficulties of the project 
were not fully perceived ; and the proposal was 
scarcely made public by the Society of Arts, of 
which Prince Albert was at the head, before im- 
pediments began to rise up in their way, and for 
more than a year they were beset with difficulties. 

will be mainly reaped by England, and a con- 
sequent distrust in the effects of our scheme upon 
their own interests, we must, at the same time, 
freely and gratefully acknowledge, that our invi- 
tation has been received by all nations, with whom 
communication was possible, in that spirit of 
liberality and friendship in which it was tendered, 
and that they are making great exertions, and 
incurring great expenses, in order to meet our 
plans." Upon the same occasion. Lord Carlisle, 
one of the most enlightened men of the age, 
expressed a hope that " the promoters of this 
Exhibition were giving a new impulse to civilisa- 
tion, and bestowing an additional reward upon 
industry, and supplying a fresh guarantee to the 
amity of nations. Yes, the nations were stirring 





[The Great 

at their call, but not as the trumpet sounds to 
battle ; they were summoning them to the peaceful 
field of a nobler competition ; not to build the 
superiority or predominance of one country on 
the depression and prostration of another, but 
where all might strive who could do most to 
embellish, improve, and elevate their common 

At a meeting held in Birmingham, Mr. Cobden, 
in speaking of the advantages that might be 
expected to flow from this Exhibition, said, " We 
shall by that means break down the barriers that 
have separated the people of different nations, and 
witness one universal republic; the year 1S51 will 
be a memorable one, indeed : it will witness a 
triumph of industry instead of a triumph of arms. 
We shall not witness the reception of the allied 
sovereigns after some fearful conflict, men bowing 
their heads in submission ; but, instead, thousands 
and tens of thousands will cross the Channel, to 
whom we will give the right hand of fellowship, 
with the fullest conviction that vvar, rather than 
a national aggrandisement, has been the curse and 
the evil which has retarded the progress of liberty 
and of virtue ; and we shall show to them that 
the people of England — not a section of them, but 
hundreds of thousands — are ready to sign a treaty 
of amity with all tlie nations on the face of the 

Lecturers and competent agents were now sent 
throughout the country to explain the objects of 
the Exhibition, and the advantages likely to arise 
from it ; besides which, the subject had been pro- 
claimed in every country far and wide — in fact, a 
challenge had been given, such as men had never 
heard, to an enterprise in which every nation might 
hope to be the victor. It was arranged that the 
great competition should be opened in London 
on the ist of May, 1851 ; but as yet a place for 
the accommodation of the specimens and the 
spectators had to be erected. The directors of the 
Exhibition were for a time perplexed, for they 
found, on calculation, that no building on earth 
would be sufficiently large to contain a tithe of its 
contents. After many expedients had been pro- 
posed and rejected, Mr. (afterwards Sir Joseph) 
Paxton, the celebrated horticulturist at Chatsworth, 
came forward with a simple plan, which effectually 
solved all the difficulty. 

The number of plans and designs sent in to the 
Committee appointed by the Royal Commission 
amounted to nearly two hundred and fifty, in- 
cluding several foreigners; but none of these 
appeared to be satisfactory. Accordingly, the 
Committee set to work and perfected a design for 

themselves, from the various suggestions afforded 
by the competing architects, adding, as a contri- 
bution " entirely their own," a dome of gigantic 
proportions. This dome at once became so un- 
popular with the public, and the contest about 
its site grew so fierce, that the whole scheme of 
the Exhibition seemed at one time likely to have 
collapsed. At " the eleventh hour," however, Mr. 
Paxton, as we have stated above, came forward 
with a plan, which he considered would meet all 
the requirements of the Committee, and avoid all 
the objections of the public. "It was not," said 
Mr. Paxton himself, at a meeting of the Derby 
Institute, " until one morning, when I was present 
with my friend, Mr. Ellis, at an early sitting in the 
House of Commons, that the idea of sending in a 
design occurred to me. A conversation took place 
between us, with reference to the construction of 
the new House of Commons, in the course of 
which I observed, that I was afraid they would 
also commit a blunder in the building for the 
Industrial Exhibition ; I told him that I had a 
notion in my head, and that if he would accompany 
me to the Board of Trade I would ascertain 
whether it was too late to send in a design. I 
asked the Executive Committee whether they were 
so far committed to the plans as to be precluded 
from receiving another ; the reply was, ' Certainly 
not ; the specifications will be out in a fortnight, 
but there is no reason why a clause should not be 
introduced, allowing of the reception of another 
design.' I said, ' Well, if you will introduce such 
a clause, I will go home, and, in nine days hence, 
I will bring you my plans all complete.' No 
doubt the Executive thought me a conceited 
fellow, and that what I had said was nearer akin 
to romance than to common sense. Well, this 
was on Frida}'-, the nth of June. From London 
I went to the Menai Straits, to see the third tube 
of the Britannia Bridge placed, and on my return 
to Derby I had to attend to some business at tlie 
Board Room, during which time, however, my 
whole mind was devoted to this project ; and 
whilst the business proceeded, I sketched the 
outline of my design on a large sheet of blotting- 
paper. AVell, having sketched this design, I sat 
up all night, until I had worked it out to my own 
satisfaction ; and, by the aid of my friend Mr. 
Barlow, on the 15th, I was enabled to complete 
the whole of the plans by the Saturday following, 
on which day I left Rowsley for London. On 
arriving at the Derby station, I met Mr. Robert 
Stephenson, a member of the Building Committee, 
who was also on his way to the metropolis. Mr. 
Stephenson minutely examined the plans, and 

Exiiibilioii. ] 



became thoroughly engrossed with them, until at 
length he exclaimed that the design was just the 
thing, and he only wished it had been sub- 
mitted to the Committee in time. Mr. Stephenson, 
however, laid the plans before the Committee, and 
at first the idea was rather pooh-poohed ; but the 
plans gradually grew in favour, and by publishing 
the design in the Illustrated Lo?idon Netvs, and 
showing the advantage of such an erection over 
one composed of fifteen millions of bricks and 
other materials, which would have to be removed 
at a great loss, the Committee did, in the end, 
reject the abortion of a child of their own, and 
unanimously recommended my bantling. I am 
bound to say that I have been treated by the 
Committee with great fairness. Mr. Brunei, the 
author of the great dome, I believe, was at first so 
wedded to his own plan that he would hardly look 
at mine. But Mr. Brunei was a gentleman and a 
man of fairness, and listened with every attention 
to all that could be urged in favour of my plans. 
As an instance of that gentleman's very creditable 
conduct, I will mention that a difficulty presented 
itself to the Committee as to what was to be done 
with the large trees, and it was gravely suggested 
that they should be walled in. I remarked that I 
could cover the trees without any difficulty ; when 
Mr. Brunei asked, ' Do you know their height ? ' 
I acknowledged that I did not. On the following 
morning Mr. Brunei called at Devonshire House, 
and gave me the measurement of the trees, which 
he had taken early in the morning, adding — 
'Although I mean to try to win with my own 
plan, I will give you all the information I can.' 
Having given this preliminary explanation of the 
origin and execution of my design, I will pass over 
the question of merit, leaving that to be discussed 
and decided by others when the whole shall have 
been completed." 

Notwithstanding that Sir Robert Peel and Prince 
Albert strongly favoured Mr. Paxton's scheme, it 
was at first but coldly received by the Building 
Committee, w^ho still clung to their own plan. 
Nothing daunted, Mr. Paxton appealed to the 
British public ; and this he did by the aid of 
the woodcuts and pages of the Illustrated London 
News. Everybody but the Committee was at 
once convinced of the practicability, simplicity, 
and beauty of Mr. Paxton's plan, which, in fact, 
was but a vast expansion of a conservatory design, 
built by him at Chatsworth for the flowering of 
the Victoria Lily. The people and the Prince 
were heartily with him ; and, thus encouraged, 
Mr. Paxton resolved to make another effort with 
the Building Committee. It happened that the 

Committee had invited candidates for raising their 
edifice to suggest any improvements in it that 
might occur to them. This opened a crevice for 
the tender of Mr. Paxton's plan as an " improve- 
ment" on that of the Committee. After some 
discussion, the result was that the glazed "palace" 
was chosen unanimously, not only by the Building 
Committee, but by the Royal Commissioners also. 
Mr. Paxton's design, as everybody knows, was 
that of a huge building in the style of a garden 
conservatory, in which iron and glass should be 
almost the sole materials, wood being introduced 
only in the fittings. This method was at once 
adopted, and the result was a building in Hyde 
Park, nearly twice the breadth and fully four times 
the length of St. Paul's Cathedral. The edifice 
— which was appropriately called the " Crystal 
Palace " — covered nearly twenty acres of ground, 
and contained eight miles of tables. It was 
erected and finished in the short space of seven 
months. " With its iron framework, that rose 
towards the sky in dark slender lines, and its 
walls of glittering crystal, that seemed to float 
in mid-air like a vapour, it appeared, indeed, an 
exhalation which a breath of wind might disperse — 
Si fata morgana that would disappear with a sudden 
shift of sunshine. But on looking more nearly it 
was seen to be a solid edifice, the iron pillars of 
which were rooted deep in the earth ; while within 
the combination of light and lofty arches, with ribs 
forming a graceful metallic net-work, gave strength 
and security to the edifice." It is a curious fact 
that the edifice realised the conceptions of one 
of the earliest poetical ■ dreams in the English 
language ; and one would almost believe that 
when Chaucer, four centuries and a half ago, 
^vrote the follo\ving lines in his " House of Fame," 
he was endowed with a prophetic as well as a 
poetic faculty : — ■ 

" I dreamt I was 

Within a temple 7nade of glass. 

In which there were more images 

Oi gold standing in sundry stages, 

In more riclr tabernaclesj 

And \y\'Ci\je-d'ds, more piimacles, 

And more curious portralhires. 

And quaint manner of figures 

Of gold-work than I saw ever. 

"Then saw I stand on either side 
Straight down to the doors wide 
From the dais t>tany a pillar 
Of metal ih^i shone out full clear. 

*' Then gau I look about and see 
That there came ent'ring in the hall, 
A right great company withal. 
And that of sundry regions 



[The Great 

Of all kinds of conditions, 

That dwell in earth beneath the moon, 

Poor and rich. 

# # * # * 

" Such a great congregation 
Of folks as I saw roam about, 
Some within and some without, 
Was never seen or shall be more I " 

The superintendence of the construction of the 
building was entrusted to Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
Matthew Digby Wyatt, and the construction itself 
was undertaken by Messrs. Fox, Henderson, and Co., 
of Birmingham. The ground-plan of the building 
was a parallelogram, 1,851 feet long — a fact worthy 
of mention, seeing that the number corresponds with 
the date of the year in which the Exhibition was 
held — by 456 feet wide in the broadest part, with 
a transept upwards of 400 feet long and 7 2 feet 
wide intersecting the building at right angles in 
the middle. The side walls rose in three stages: 
the outer wall rising from the ground twenty-four 
feet, the second twenty feet higher, and the third 
twenty feet higher still, or sixty-four feet from the 
bottom of its supporting pillars, giving within the 
building a great central avenue or nave seventy- 
two feet wide, and on each side of it three avenues 
twenty-four feet wide, and two of forty-eight feet ; 
the transept, having a semi-circular roof, being 
108 feet high, to give ample room for three or 
four trees in the Park which remained enclosed 
under it. The edifice was a trifle longer than 
Portland Place. " I walked out one evening," 
says Sir Charles Fox, "and there setting out the 
1,848 feet upon the pavement, found it the same 
length within a few yards ; and then considered 
that the Great Exhibition building would be three 
times the width of that fine street, and the nave as 
high as the houses on either side." 

As no brick and mortar were used, and all the 
proportions of the building depended upon its iron 
pillars and girders, nearly all the materials arrived 
on the spot ready to be placed and secured in 
their destined positions. Yet vast operations were 
necessary even then in its construction, and called 
forth the most admirable display of scientific 
ingenuity, systematic arrangements, and great 
energy. Hardly any scaffolding was used, the 
columns, as they were set up, answering their 
purpose. Machines for performing all the pre- 
paratory operations required to be done on the 
spot were introduced in the building, and some of 
them invented for the occasion ; such, for instance, 
as the sash-bar machine, gutter-machine, mortising- 
machine, painting-machine, glazing-machine, and 
other ingenious contrivances for economising 

Throughout the progress of the building it was 
visited by many of the most distinguished persons 
in the country ; and the contractors finding that 
the numbers who flocked to it impeded in some 
degree their operations, determined to make a 
charge of five shillings for admission, the proceeds 
of which were to constitute an accident-relief fund 
for the workmen. A very considerable sum was 
thus raised, though the number of accidents was 
very small, and the nature of the accidents not at 
all serious. During the months of December and 
January upwards of 2,000 persons were employed 
upon the building. 

Whatever wonders the Exhibition was to contain, 
the building itself, when completed, was looked 
upon as the greatest wonder of all. Shortly before 
it was opened to the public, the Times observed 
that, "Not the least wonderful part of the Exhibition 
will be the edifice within which the specimens of 
the industry of all nations are to be collected. Its 
magnitude, the celerity with which it is to be 
constructed, and the materials of which it is to 
be composed, all combine to ensure for it a large 
share of that attention which the Exhibition is likely 
to attract, and to render its progress a matter of 
great public interest. A building designed to 
cover 753,984 superficial feet, and to have an 
exhibiting surface of about twenty-one acres, to be 
roofed in, and handed over to the Commissioners 
within little more than three months from its 
commencement ; to be constructed almost entirely 
of glass and iron, the most fragile and the strongest 
of working materials ; to combine the lightness of 
a conservatory with the stability of our most per- 
manent structures — such a building will naturally 
excite much curiosity as to the mode in which the 
works connected with it are conducted, and the 
advances which are made towards its completion. 
Enchanted palaces that grow up in a night are 
confined to fairy-land, and in this material world 
of ours the labours of the bricklayer and the 
carpenter are notoriously never-ending. It took 
300 years to build St. Peter's at Rome, and 
thirty-five to complete our own St. Paul's. The 
New Palace of Westminster has already been 
fifteen years in hand, and still is unfinished. We 
run up houses, it is true, quickly enough in this 
country ; but if there be a touch of magic in the 
time occupied, there is none in the appearance of 
so much stucco and brick-work as our streets 
exhibit. Something very ditferent from this was 
promised for the great edifice in Hyde Park. Not 
only was it to rise with extraordinary rapidity, 
but in every other respect is to be suggestive of 
' Arabian Nights ' remembrances.'^ 




The decoration of the building, both in design 
and in execution, was entrusted to Mr. Owen 
Jones, about 500 painters being employed upon 
the work. The under sides of the girders were 
painted red, the round portions of the columns 
yellow, and the hollows of the capitals blue, in due 
proportions. All the stalls were covered with red 
cloth, or pink calico; by which means not only 
was the unsightly woodwork concealed, but a 
warmth of colouring was given to the whole 
ground area of the building, which, combined with 
the mass of blue overhead, and the yellow stripes 
of the columns, produced a most harmonious effect, 
which was further softened by covering the roof 
and south side with unbleached calico, to prevent 
the glare of light which would necessarily take 
place in a building whose roof and sides were 
chiefly of glass. Mr. Jones also displayed great 
knowledge in his profession by the judicious dis- 
tribution of various large articles and groups of 
articles, with a view to their effect upon the general 
internal aspect of the Exhibition. 

The first column of the edifice was fixed on the 
26th of September, 1850, and by the middle of 
January, 1851, notwithstanding various alterations 
in some of the details of the plan, little of the 
exterior of the vast structure remained to be 
finished, and by the ist of May everything was 
complete ; the contributions from all nations were 
in their places ; and the Exhibition was opened by 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria in person, attended 
by her Royal Consort, the Ai-chbishop of Caiitcr- 
bury. Her Majesty's ministers and great officers of 
state, the foreign ambassadors and ministers, the 
Royal Commissioners, &c. The opening ceremony 
took place with a punctuality which was the source 
of much congratulation. A chair of state had 
been placed upon a da'is of three steps, on the 
north of the centre facing the south transept, and 
over it was suspended, by invisible rods, a canopy 
of blue and silver. In front, in the centre of the 
transept, was a large glass fountain, and on either 
side, a little in the rear, were equestrian statues of 
Her Majesty and the Prince Consort. The doors 
of the " Crystal Palace " were opened on the 
morning of that eventful day at nine o'clock for 
tlie admission of the purchasers of season tickets, 
of which about 20,000 had been sold. The 
visitors were so judiciously sprinkled over the 
different parts of the building, by the tickets 
assigning to every person the staircase or section 
he was to repair to, that there was nothing like 
crushing in any part of the building, with one 
temporary exception of a rush of persons beyond 
the barriers before the platform, which was soon 

set right by a party of sappers. The following 
particulars of the opening ceremony we here quote 
from the Gentleman's Magazine : — " The Queen 
left Buckingham Palace in state at twenty minutes 
before twelve, accompanied by Prince Albert and 
their two eldest children, the Prince and Princess 
of Prussia, Prince Frederick William of Prussia, 
and their respective suites. They were conveyed 
in nine carriages. Some time before Her Majesty 
entered, the heralds in their tabards, the officers 
of state. Her Majesty's ministers, the foreign 
ambassadors, and the officers of the household 
troops, in their full costumes, with the Executive 
Committee and other functionaries of the Ex- 
hibition, the architect and contractors in court 
dresses, and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen in 
their robes, had assembled round the platform, 
and the ' beef-eaters ' were ranged behind. At 
length a flourish of trumpets announced the Queen's 
arrival at the north door of the building, and Her 
Majesty and her Royal Consort, leading by the 
hand' the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, 
appeared before the vast assemblage of her sub- 
jects, and 'the crystal bow' rang with enthusiastic 
shouts, overpowering the sound of the cannon 
discharged on the other side of the Serpentine. 
It was a moment of intense excitement. In the 
midst of the grandest temple ever raised to the 
peaceful arts, surrounded by thousands of her 
subjects and men of all nations, was the ruler of 
this realm and its vast dependencies, herself the 
centre of the gi^eat undertaking. Her emotions, as 
she gracefully and repeatedly acknowledged her 
people's gratulations, were very evident. The 
Prince Consort having conducted Her Majesty to 
tlic throne, the National Anthem was sung by 
a choir of near a thousand voices, accompanied 
by the organ of Messrs. Gray and Davidson. '^ 
Prince Albert then quitted the Queen's side, and, 
advancing at the head of the Royal Commissioners, 
over whose deliberations he had indefatigably pre- 
sided, delivered in an emphatic tone of voice the 
report of the completion of their labours, from 
which it appears that the number of exhibitors 
whose productions it had been found possible 
to accommodate was about 15,000, of whom 
nearly one-half were British. The remainder 
represented the productions of more than forty 
foreign countries, comprising almost the whole of 
the civilised nations of the globe. In arranging 
the space allotted to each, the report stated that 
the Commissioners had taken into consideration 
both the nature of its productions and the facilities 
of access to this country afforded by its geographical 
position. The productions of Great Britain and 



[The Great 

her dependencies were arranged in the western 
portion of the building, and those of foreign 
countries in the eastern. The Exhibition was 
divided into four great classes, viz. :— i. Raw 
Materials; 2. Machinery; 3. Manufactures; 4- 
Sculpture and the Fine Arts. With regard to the 

rewards would be assigned. Her Majesty's reply 
to the address was followed by a prayer, offered 
up by the Archbishop of Canterbury ; and that 
finished, the majestic " Hallelujah Chorus " burst 
forth, its strains reverberating through the arched 
transept and " long-drawn aisles " of the building. 


distribution of rewards to deserving exhibitors, the 
report went on to state that the Commissioner 
had decided that they should be given in the form 
of medals, not with reference to merely individual 
competition, but as rewards for excellence, in 
whatever shape it might present itself The 
selection of the persons to be so rewarded was 
entrusted to juries, composed equally of British 
subjects and of foreigners, many of whose names 
were a guarantee of the impartiality with which the 

" The state procession was then fornned, and 
passed down the northern avenue of the west 
nave. The spectators were arranged on either 
side, and as Her Majesty passed along, the cheers 
were taken up in succession by the whole of the 
long array, and seconded with waving of hats and 
handkerchiefs from the galleries. Her Majesty 
and the Prince acknowledged these gratulations 
by continual bowing. The various objects of 
interest around were for a time almost disreg'arded, 

Exhibition. 1 



but the effect of the whole upon the eye, as the 
Sovereign and her attendants threaded their way 
between the Hving throng, and the lines of statuary 
and other works of art, and the rich assemblage 

-Master-General of the Ordnance), united arm-in- 
arm in this triumph of peace, were the objects of 
much attraction. When the procession reached 
the west end, the magnificent organ by Mr. Willis, 


of the products of industry, was exceedingly 
impressive ; and the ovation of industry far out- 
shone all the splendours of old Rome, with no 
fettered captives in the rear, or wailing widows 
and orphans at home to dim its lustre. The Duke 
of Wellington and the Marquis of Anglesey (who 
joined the procession as Commander-in-Chief and 

with its 4,700 pipes, commenced playing the 
National Anthem, which was heard to the re- 
motest end of the building. The procession 
returned by the south side to the transept, round 
the southern part of which it passed, amidst the 
cheers of the people, the peals of two organs, and 
the voices of 700 choristers, to the eastern or 



[The Great ExKibition. 

foreign division of the nave, where the French 
organ took up the strain, and the deUcate lady, 
whose tempered sway is owned by a hundred 
niiUions of men, pursued her course amongst the 
contributions of all the civilised world. As she 
passed the gigantic equestrian figure of Godfrey de 
Bouillon, by the Belgian sculptor, Simonis, which 
seems the very impersonation of physical strength, 
we could not but be struck by the contrast, and by 
the reflection how far the prowess of the crusader 
is transcended by the power of well-defined liberty 
and constitutional law. The brilliant train having 
at length made the complete circuit of the building, 
Her Majesty again ascended the throne, and pro- 
nounced the Exhibition opened. The announce- 
ment was repeated by the Marquis of Breadalbane 
as Lord Steward, followed immediately by a burst 
of acclamations, the bray of trumpets, and a royal 
salute across the Serpentine. The royal party 
then withdrew; the National Anthem was again 
repeated ; and the visitors dispersed themselves 
through the building, to gratify their curiosity 
witliout restraint." 

It would be impossible, and indeed superfluous, 
within the space at our command, to attempt to 
give anything even like a resume of the multifarious 
articles here brought together; suffice it to say, 
that the Exhibition comprised most of the best 
productions in the different branches of art, manu- 
factures, &c., from all parts of the civilised globe, 
and that it became properly enough called the 
"World's Fair," for it attracted visitors from all 
parts of the world. We have already mentioned 
the glass fountain in the transept; that object, from 
its central position, was invariably fixed upon as 
the rendezvous, or meeting-place, by family groups 
or parties of visitors, in case of their losing sight of 
one another in the labyrinth of tables and articles 
v.hich thronged the building. Another object, 
which we cannot well pass over, was the famous 
Koh-i-noor, or " Mountain of Light," which had 
been specially lent by Her Majesty. This royal 
gem — the value of which has been variously stated 
at from ^1,500,000 to ^^3, 000,000 — appeared to 
be one of the greatest curiosities of the Exhibition, 
judging from the numbers congregated around it 
during the day. The Exhibition was open for 144 
days, being closed on the nth of October. The 
entire number of visitors was above 6,170,000, 
averaging 43,536 per day. The largest number 
of visitors in one day was 109,760, on the 8th 
of October; and at two o'clock on the previous 
^^1 93j00o persons were present at one time. 
The entire money drawn for tickets of admission 
amounted to ^506,100; and after all expenses 

were defrayed, a balance of ^{^2 13,300 was left 
over, to be appHed to the promotion of industrial 

At the time when the Exhibition was over, so 
firm a hold had the fairy-like palace obtained upon 
the good opinion of the public, that a general desire 
for its preservation sprung up. Application was 
made to Government that it should be purchased 
and become the property of the nation ; but it was 
ruled otherwise. The building was, however, not 
doomed to disappear altogether, for a few enter- 
prising gentlemen having stepped forward, it was 
rescued from destruction. It was decided that the 
building should be removed to some convenient 
place within an easy distance of London, and ac- 
cordingly it was transferred to Sydenham, where a 
fine estate of three hundred acres had been pur- 
chased, on which the edifice was raised again in 
increased grandeur and beauty, and where, under 
the name of the Crystal Palace, it soon became 
one of the most popular places of recreation in or 
near the metropolis. 

The whole building was removed from Hyde 
Park before the close of 1852 ; and in the follow- 
ing year it was proposed to place upon the site 
a memorial of the Exhibition, to include a statue 
of Prince Albert — the originator of this display of 
the industry of all nations. The spot ultimately 
chosen for the memorial, however, is somewhat to 
the west of the ground covered by the Exhibition 
building ; in fact, it is just within the south- 
eastern enclosure of Kensington Gardens, directly 
opposite the centre of the Horticultural Gardens, 
and looking upon the South Kensington establish- 
ments, in the promotion of which the Prince 
Consort always took so deep an interest. The 
memorial, which took upwards of twenty years 
before it was completed, and cost upwards of 
;^i 30,000, was erected from the designs of Sir 
Gilbert Scott. It consists of a lofty and wide- 
spreading pyramid of three quadrangular ranges 
of steps, forming, as it were, the base of the 
monument, which may be described as a colossal 
statue of the Prince, placed beneath a vast and 
gorgeous Gotliic canopy, about thirty feet square, 
supported at the angles by groups of colunins of 
polished granite, and " surrounded by works of 
sculpture, illustrating those arts and sciences which 
he fostered, and the great undertakings which he 
originated." The memorial partakes somewhat, 
in the richness of its colours, decorations, and 
mosaics, of the Renaissance Gothic style ; and its 
whole height from the roadway is 176 feet. The 
first flight of granite steps, forming the basement, 
is 212 feet v.'ide, with massive abutments of solid 



granite. At the four corners of the second flight 
of steps are gigantic square masses of carved 
granite, occupied with colossal groups of marble 
statuary, emblematical of Europe, Asia, Africa, and 
America, and executed respectively by Messrs. 
Macdowell, Foley, Theed, and Bell. Above the 
topmost flight of steps rises the memorial itself, 
the podium or pedestal of which is carved mth 
nearly 200 figures, life-size, and all more or less 
in high rehef. They are all portrait-statues of 
celebrities in the different walks of art, literature, 
science, &c. At the four corners of this, again, 
as on the base below, are allegorical groups of 
statuary — one of Commerce, by Thornycroft ; one 
of Manufactures, by Weekes; one of Agricul- 
ture, by Marshall; and one of Engineering, by 
Lawlor. The statue of the Prince— which was 
not completed till early in the year 1876 — is 
richly gilt, and rests upon a pedestal fifteen feet 
high; it represents the Prince sitting on a chair 

of state, and attired in his regal-looking robes 
as a Knight of the Garter. This great work was 
entrusted to Mr. Foley. The roof of the canopy 
is decorated Nvith mosaics, representing the royal 
arms and those of the Prince on a ground of blue 
and gold. At the angles of the four arches above 
the canopy are marble figures, life-size. The 
spandrils of the arches above the trefoil are filled 
in with rich and elaborate glass mosaics on a gilt 
ground, portraying Poetry, Painting, Sculpture, 
and Architecture. One of the main features of 
the whole design is the beautiful spire, in which 
every portion of the metal surface is covered with 
ornament ; the surface in many parts is coated 
with colours in enamel, with coloured marbles and 
imitation gem-work ; and up to the very cross itself, 
which surmounts the whole, there is the same 
amount of extraordinary detail and finish, as if 
each part were meant for the most minute and 
close inspection. 


" I'll have thee, Captain Gilthead, and march up 
And take in Pimlico."— C/rf Play. 

Etymology of Pimlico— The Locality Half a Century Ago— Warwick Square— Vauxhall Bridge Road— The Army Clothing Depot— St. George's 
Square— The Church of St. James the Less— Victoria Railway Station— New Chelsea Bridge— The Western Pumping Station, and Metro- 
politan Main-Drainage Works— St. Barnabas Church— St. Barnabas Mission House and Orphanage— Bramah, the Engineer and Lock- 
smith—Thomas Cubitt, the Builder— The " Monster " Tavern— The "Gun," the "Star and Garter," and the "Orange" Tea-Gardens— 
"Jenny's Whim"— Tart Hall -Stafford Row— St. Peter's Chapel and Dr. Dodd— Richard Heber and his famous Library. 

The name Pimlico is clearly of foreign deriva- 
tion, and it has not a little puzzled topographers. 
Gifford, in a note in his edition of Ben Jonson. 
tells us that ** Pimlico is sometimes spoken of as a 
person, and may not improbably have been the 
master of a house once famous for ale of a par- 
ticular description ; " and we know, from Dodsley's 
" Old Plays," and from Ben Jonson's \\Titings, that 
there was another Pimlico at Hoxton, or (as the 
place was then termed) Hogsdon, where, indeed, 
to the present day there is a " Pimlico Walk." It 
is evident, from a reference to The Alchemist of 
Ben Jonson, that the place so named at "Hogsdon" 
was a place of resort of no very good repute, 
and constantly frequented by all sorts of people, 
from knights, ladies, and gentlewomen, down to 
oyster-wenches : — 

' ' Gallants, men, and women, 
And of all sorts, tag-rag, been seen to flock here, 
In these ten weeks, as to a second Hogsdon, 
In days of Pimlico." 

In another play of about the same period a worthy 

knight is represented as sending his daughter to 
Pimlico " to fetch a draught of Derby ale." It is 
antecedently probable, therefore, that the district 
lying between Chelsea and St. James's Park should 
have got the name from an accidental resemblance 
to its antipodes at Hoxton. And this supposition is 
confirmed by Isaac Reed, who tells us, in Dodsley's 
"Old Plays," how that "a place near Chelsey is still 
called Pimlico, and was resorted to within these 
few years on the same account as the former at 
Hogsdon." It may be added that PimHco is still 
celebrated for its ales, and also that the district is 
not mentioned by the name of Pimlico in any 
existing document prior to the year 1626. 

" At this time " — i.e. the reign of Charles I., 
writes Mr. Petei Cunningham — " Pimlico was quite 
uninhabited, nor is it introduced into the rate- 
books of St. Martin's (to which it belonged) until 
the year 1680, when the Earl of Arlington — 
previously rated as residing in the Mulberry 
Gardens — is rated, though still living in the same 
house, under the head of Pimlico. In 1687, 




seven years later, four people are described as 
living in what was then called Pimllco — the Duke 
of Grafton, Lady Stafford, Thomas Wilkins, and Dr. 
Crispin. The Duke of Grafton, having married the 
only child of the Earl of Arlington, was residing 
in Arlington House ; and Lady Stafford in what 
was then and long before known as Tart Hall." 
Arlington House, as we have seen,* was ultimately 
developed into Buckingham Palace. 

The district of Pimlico may be regarded as 
embracing the whole of Belgravia, which we have 
already dealt with in a previous chapter, as well 
as the locality extending from Buckingham Palace 
Road to the Thames, and stretching away west- 
ward to Chelsea. This latter portion includes the 
Grosvenor Road and the Eccleston sub-district 
of squares, terraces, and streets, nearly all of which 
have sprung up within the last half-century. 

In the map appended to Coghlan's "Picture of 
London," published in the year 1834, the whole of 
this division of Pimlico, between Vauxhall Bridge 
Road and Chelsea (now Buckingham Palace) 
Road, appears unbuilt upon, with the exception 
of a few stray cottages here and there, and a few 
blocks of houses near the river ; the rest of the 
space is marked out as gardens and waste land, 
intersected by the Grosvenor Canal, the head of 
which, forming an immense basin, is now entirely 
covered by the Victoria Railway Station. Its 
rustic character at the above date may be inferred 
from the fact, that a considerable portion of the 
space between the two roads above mentioned 
is described as " osier beds," whilst a straight 
thoroughfare connecting the two roads is called 
Willow Walk. These osier beds are now covered 
by Eccleston Square and a number of small streets 
adjacent to it; whilst "Willow Walk" has been 
transformed into shops and places of business, and 
is now known as AVarwick Street. On the north 
side of Warwick Street, covering part of the " old 
Neat House " Gardens, to which we have already 
referred,t is Warwick Square, which is bounded on 
the north-east by Belgrave Road, and on the 
south-west by St. George's Road. In Warwick 
Square stands St. Gabriel's Church, a large build- 
ing of Early English architecture, erected from the 
designs of Mr. Thomas Cundy, who was also the 
architect of St. Saviour's Church, in St. George's 
Square, close by. Vauxhall Bridge Road, which 
dates from the erection of the bridge, about the 
year 18 16, is a broad and well-built thoroughfare, 
opening up a direct communication, by way of 
Grosvenor Place, between Hyde Park Corner and 

• See Vol. IV., p. 62. t See Vol. IV., p. 3. 

Vauxhall Bridge, and so on to Kennington and 
the southern suburbs of London. Of Vauxhall 
Bridge, and of Trinity Church, in Bessborough 
Gardens, close by, we have already spoken. | 

Not far from St. George's Square stands an 
extensive range of buildings, known as the Army 
Clothing Depot— one of the largest institutions 
that has ever been established for the organisation 
and utilisation of women's work. " Previous to 
the year 1857," observes a writer in the Queen 
newspaper, "all the clothes fo-r the British army 
were made by contractors, whose first thought 
seemed to be how to amass a fortune at the 
expense of the makers and the wearers of the 
clothes primarily, and of the British public in- 
directly. But in that year the Army Clothing 
Depot was established, somewhat experimentally, 
in Blomberg Terrace, Vauxhall Road ; the experi- 
ment answering so well, that an extension of the 
premises became imperative. In 1859 the present 
depot was opened, although since then it has 
largely increased, and has not yet, apparently, come 
to the full stage of its development. The whole of 
the premises occupy about seven acres, the long 
block of buildings on the one side being used as 
the Government stores, while the correspondin-g 
block consists of the factory. The main feature 
of the latter is a large glass-roofed central hall of 
three storeys, with spacious galleries all round on 
each storey. The ventilation is ensured by louvres, 
so that the whole atmosphere can be renewed in 
the space of five minutes or so ; the temperature is 
kept at an average of 60" to 6^°, and each operative 
enjoys 1,200 cubic feet of air, so that we have at 
the outset the three requirements of light, air, and 
warmth, in strongly-marked contrast to the crowded 
rooms of the contractor, or the more wretched 
chamber of the home-worker. Five hundred and 
twenty-seven women are at present working in the 
central hall, and five hundred in the side rooms, 
which also accommodate about two hundred men. 
This forms the Avorking staff of the factory, which 
comprises, therefore, what may be called the pick 
of the sewing-machine population in London. It 
may well, be imagined that the prospect of so 
comfortable an abiding place would attract great 
numbers of workpeople ; and, indeed, this has 
been so much the case that very rigorous rules 
have been obliged to be made to guard against 
unworthy admissions. 'The good of the public 
service ' is the motto of the factory, and everything 
else must yield to that ; so that, both for in-door 
and out-door hands, all candidates must first of 

t See Vol. IV., p. 9. 




all appear before a committee, consisting of the 
matron, the foreman cutter, the foreman viewer, 
and the instructor, who are held responsible for 
the selection of proper persons. In-door candidates 
as needlewomen must be healthy and strong, and, 
if single, between the ages of seventeen and thirty; 
if married or widows, they must have no children 
at home young enough to demand their care. 
These points being settled, the candidates are 
examined as to any previous training or fitness for 
army work, and are required to show what they 
can do. If all these requirements are satisfactory, 
the matron inquires into their character, and finally 
they are examined by the doctor, who certifies to 
their fitness, after which they are placed in a trial 
division in the factory for further report and pro- 

St. George's Square, with its trees and shrubs, 
presents a healthful and cheering aspect, almost 
bordering on the Thames, just above Vauxhall 
Bridge. It covers a considerable space of ground, 
and is bounded on the north side by Lupus 
Street — a thoroughfare so called after a favourite 
Christian name in the Grosvenor family, per- 
petuating the memory of Hugh Lupus, Earl of 
Chester after the Norman Conquest. St. Saviour's 
Church, which was built in 1865, is in the Deco- 
rated style of Gothic architecture, and with its 
elegant tower and spire forms a striking object, as 
seen from the river. 

In Upper Garden Street, wliich runs parallel 
with Vauxhall Bridge Road, is the Church of St. 
James the Less, built in 1861, from the designs of 
Mr. G. E. Street, R.A. The edifice was founded by 
the daughters of the late Bishop of Gloucester and 
Bristol (Dr. Monk) as a memorial to their father, 
who was also a Canon of Westminster. It is con- 
structed of brick, with dressings of stone, marble, 
and alabaster; and it consists of a nave, side aisles, 
a semi-circular apse, and a lofty tower and spire. 
The roof of the chancel is groined, and is a 
combination of brick and stone. A very consider- 
able amount of elaborate detail pervades the 
interior. The chancel is surrounded by screens 
of brass and iron, and over the chancel-arch is a 
well-executed fresco painting, by Mr. G. F. Watts, 
R. A., of " Our Saviour attended by Angels." Some 
of the windows are filled with stained glass. The 
building, including the decorations, cost upwards 

of ^9;000- 

The Victoria Railway Station, situated at the 
northern end of Vauxhall Bridge Road, covers, as 
we have stated above, a considerable portion of the 
basin of the old Grosvenor Canal ; it unites the 
West-end of London with the lines terminating: at 

London Bridge and Holborn Viaduct, and also 
serves as the joint terminus of the Brighton Rail- 
way and of the London, Chath?.m, and Dover 
Railway. Like the stations at Charing Cross and 
Cannon Street, which we have already described, 
the Victoria Railway Station has a ''monster'"' 
hotel — " The Grosvenor" — built in connection with 
it. The lines of railway, soon after leaving tlie 
station, are carried across the Thames by an iron 
bridge of four arches, called the Victoria Bridge, 
and then diverge. 

On the western side of the railway bridge is 
a handsome new bridge, which now connects 
this populous and increasing neighbourhood with 
Battersea and Vauxhall. The railway bridge some- 
what mars the structural beauty of the one under 
notice ; but when looked at from the embank- 
ment on either side, "above bridge," or, better 
still, from a boat in the middle of the river, the 
bridge appears like a fairy structure, with its towers 
gilded and painted to resemble light-coloured 
bronze, and crowned with large globular lamps. 
The bridge, which is constructed on the suspension 
principle, is built of iron, and rests upon piers of 
English elm and concrete enclosed within iron 
casings. Tlie two piers are each nearly ninety 
feet in length by twenty in width, with curved cut- 
waters. The roadway on the bridge is formed by 
two wrought-iron longitudinal girders, upwards of 
1,400 feet, which extend the whole length of the 
bridge, and are suspended by rods from the chains. 
At either end of the bridge are picturesque lodge- 
houses, for the use of the toll-collectors. The 
bridge was built from the designs of Mr. Page, 
and finished in 1857, at a cost of ;^S8,ooo. 

Nearly the whole of the river-side between 
Vauxhall Bridge and Chelsea Bridge forms a broad 
promenade and thoroughfare, very similar in its 
construction to the Victoria Embankment, which 
we have already described, and of which it is, so 
to speak, a continuation — the only break in the 
line of roadway being about a quarter of a mile 
between Millbank and the Houses of Parliament, 
where the river is not embanked on the north side. 
This roadway is known partly as Thames Bank, or 
Thames Parade, and partly as the Grosvenor 
Road. One of the principal buildings erected 
upon it is the Western Pumping Station, which 
was finished in 1874-5, completing the main- 
drainage system of the metropolis. The founda- 
tion-stone of the structure was laid in 1873, and 
the works cost about ;^i 83,000. This station 
' provides pumping power to lift the sewage and a 
part of the rainfall contributed by the district, 
together estimated at 38,000 gallons per minute, a 




height of eighteen feet in the Low Level Sev/er, 
which extends from PimHco to the Abbey Mills 
Pumping Station, near Barking, in Essex. The 
requisite power is obtained from four high-pressure 
condensing beam-engines of an aggregate of 360- 
horse power. Supplementary power, to be used in 
case of accident to the principal engines, or on 
any similar emergency, is provided by an additional 
high-pressure, non-condensing engine of 120-horse 

below the entablature which surmounts the shaft. 
Altogether, this chimney really makes a most con- 
spicuous and beautiful object as one comes down 
the river. The foundations of this great pile of 
brickwork are carried down into the London clay, 
and even then bedded in a mass of concrete 
cement 35 feet square. 

The system of the main-drainage of London, 
which has been carried out by the Metropolitan 


power, supplied from two boilers similar to those 
for the principal engines. This engine and its 
boilers are erected in a separate building to the 
rear of the main buildings, near the canal. The 
works further comprise coal vaults, settling pond, 
and reservoirs for condensing water, repairing-shops, 
stores, and dwelling-houses for the workmen and 
superintendent in charge of the works. In all they 
cover nearly four acres. The principal engine- 
house is situate facing the main road and river, 
and the height of this building rises to upwards of 
seventy-one feet. But all this is dwarfed by the 
chimney-shaft, which is very nearly the height of 
the Monument, being only ten feet short of it. 
The shaft is square, and the sides are relieved by 
three recessed panels, arched over a short distance 

Board of Works, comprises 117 square miles of 
sewers, and, as each was concluded, it added to 
the health and comfort of the inhabitants of the 
metropolis. The main sewers are eighty-two miles 
long, and cost about ^4,607,000 ; and the local 
boards and vestries assisted in completing the 
work, which comprised 635 miles of sewers. 

At the western extremity of Buckingham Palace 
Road, near Ebury Square, stands a handsome 
Gothic church, built in the severest Early English 
style, which has acquired some celebrity as "St. 
Barnabas, Pimlico." It was built in 1848-50, as a 
chapel of ease to St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, under 
the auspices of its then incumbent, the Rev. W. 
J. E. Bennett. Attached to it are large schools, 
a presbytery or college for the officiating clergy, 







who must almost of necessity be celibates. The 
church gained some notoriety during the earlier 
part of the Ritualistic movement, and, indeed, the 
services Avere not allowed to be carried on without 
sundry popular outbursts of indignation. Of late, 
however, this church has ceased to occupy the 
public attention, having been fairly eclipsed by 
other churches, which are marked by a still more 
"advanced" Ritual. The church is a portion of 
a college founded on St. Barnabas' Day, 1846, 
and is built upon ground presented by the first 
JSIarquis of V/estminster. The fabric has a Caen- 
stone tower and spire, 170 feet high, with a peal of 
ten bells, the gifts of as many parishioners. The 
windows throughout are filled with stained glass, 
with subjects from the life of St. Barnabas. An 
oak screen, richly carved, separates the nave from 
the chancel ; the open roof is splendidly painted, 
and the superb altar-plate, the font, the illuminated 
" oftice " books, and other costly ornaments, were 
the gifts of private individuals. 

In Blomfield Place, close by St. Barnabas' 
Church, are two or three useful institutions, of 
modern growth, which must not be overlooked. 
One of these is St. John's School for girls, which 
was established in 1859, under the auspices of the 
Sisterhood of St. John, and with the sanction of 
the Bishop of London. The school is '' specially 
adapted for the children of clergymen, professional 
men ; for those whose parents are abroad, who 
need home-training and care ; also for young ladies 
desirous of improving their education, or to be 
fitted for governesses." Adjoining the school- 
house is St. Barnabas' Mission House, and also 
the St. Barnabas' Orphanage. The latter institu- 
tion was established in i860, and is supported by 
ladies living in the immediate neighbourhood. It 
is also placed under the care of the " sisters " of 
St. John. 

In 1815, according to the "Beauties of England 
and ^Vales," the " chief ornament of this neighbour- 
hood" was the " amazingly extensive and interesting 
manufactory of Mr. Bramah, the engineer, lock- 
smith, and engine-maker. . . . These works 
have been deemed worthy the inspection of royalty, 
and have excited the admiration of the most 
powerful emperor of Christendom, Alexander of 
Russia." John Joseph Bramah, the founder of 
these engineering works, was nephew of Joseph 
Bramah, " a many-sided mechanist, one who did 
the world large service, and who, aided by a good 
business faculty in buying and selling, did himself 
and his heirs service also ;" whose bust, modelled 
by Chantrey, was destroyed (but for what reason 
does not appear) by Lady Chantrey, after the 

sculptor's death. The younger Bramah inherited 
the business faculty of his uncle, and his love for 
mechanism, if not his inventive skill. He it was 
who here gathered together a huge business in 
railway plant, with the aid and help of the two 
Stephensons, George and Robert, and subsequently 
transferred it to Smethwick, near Birmingham, as 
the " London Works," joining with himself Charles 
Fox and John Henderson as his partners ; and out 
of their works finally grew up the original Crystal 
Palace, as we have shown in the last chapter. 

Another large establishment, which flourished for 
many years at Thames Bank, was that of Mr. 
Thomas Cubitt, the founder of the well-known firm 
in Gray's Inn Road which bears his name. The 
large engagements which resulted in the laying-out 
and erection of Belgrave Square were commenced 
by Mr. Cubitt, in 1S25. Mr. Cubitt died towards 
the close of 1855. "Through life," observes a 
writer in the Builder, "he had been the real friend 
of the working man ; and among his own people 
he did much to promote their social, intellectual, 
and moral progress. He established a workman's 
library ; school-room for workmen's children ; and 
by an arrangement to supply generally to his work- 
men soup and cocoa at the smallest rate at which 
these could be produced, assisted in establishing a 
habit of temperance, and superseding, to a great 
extent, the dram-drinking which previously existed 
among them. Although his kindness was appre- 
ciated by many, yet at times his motives have 
been misconstrued, and unkind remarks have been 
made. In alluding to these, he has often said to 
one who was about him and possessed his con- 
fidence, ' If you wait till people thank you for 
doing anything for them, you will never do any- 
thing. It is right for me to do it, whether they are 
thankful for it or not.' To those under him, and 
holding responsible situations, he was most liberal 
and kind. He was a liberal benefactor at all 
times to churches, schools, and charities, in those 
places with which he was connected, and alwa3S 
valued, in a peculiar degree, the advantages re- 
sulting to the poor from the London hospitals." 
Mr. Cubitt was a man of unassuming demeanour, 
and bore his great prosperity with becoming 
modesty. One instance of his equanimity occurred 
when his premises were unfortunately burnt down, 
in the year before his death. He was in the 
country at the time, and was immediately tele- 
graphed for to town. The shock to most minds, 
on seeing the great destruction which occurred, 
attended with pecuniary loss to the amount of 
^30,000, would have been overpowering. Mr. 
Cubitt's first words on entering the premises, how- 




e\-er, were, " Tell the men they shall be at work 
within a week, and I will subscribe ;!^6oo towards 
buying them new tools." 

So late as 1763, Buckingham House enjoyed 
an uninterrupted prospect south and west to the 
river, there being only a few scattered cottages and 
the "Stag" Brewery between it and the Thames. 
Lying as it did at the distance of only a short 
walk from London, and on the way to rural 
Chelsea, this locality was always a great place for 
taverns and tea-gardens. The "Monster" Tavern, 
at one period an inn of popular resort, at the 
corner of St. George's Row and Buckingham 
Palace Road, and for many years the starting- 
point of the " Monster" line of omnibuses, is pro- 
bably a corruption, perhaps an intentional one, of 
the " Monastery." Mr. Larwood writes thus, in 
his " History of Sign-boards : " — "Robert de Heyle, 
in 1 368, leased the whole of the Manor of Chelsea 
to the Abbot and Monastery or Convent of West- 
minster for the term of his own life, for which 
they were to pay him the sum of ^20 a year, to 
provide him every day with two white loaves, two 
flagons of convent ale, and once a year a robe of 
esquire's silk. At this period, or shortly after, the 
sign of the ' Monastery' may have been set up, to 
be handed down from generation to generation, 
until the meaning and proper pronunciation were 
alike forgotten, and it became the ' Monster.' . , 
This tavern," he adds, " I believe, is the only one 
with such a sign." 

We have already spoken of the Mulberry 
Gardens, which occupied the site of Buckingham 
Palace.* Here also were the "Gun"' Tavern and 
Tea-gardens, with convenient " arbours and costume 
figures." These gardens were removed to make 
way for improvements at Buckingham Gate. Then 
there was the "Star and Garter" Tavern, at the 
end of Five-Fields' Row, which was at one time 
famous for its fireworks, dancing, and eques- 
trianism ; and the " Orange," as nearly as possible 
upon the site of St. Barnabas' Church. 

Another tavern or place of public entertain- 
ment in this neighbourhood, in former times, was 
" Jenny's Whim." This establishment, which bore 
the name down to the beginning of the present 
century, occupied the site now covered by St. 
George's Row, near to Ebury Bridge, which spanned 
the canal at the north end of the Commercial Road. 
This bridge was formerly known as the " Wooden 
Bridge," and also as "Jenny's Whim Bridge" (see 
page 43); and down to about the year 1825, a 
turnpike close by bore the same lady's name. 

• See Vol. IV., p. 62. 

A hundred years ago, as is clear from allusions 
to it in the Connoisseur and other periodicals, 
" Jenny's Whim " was a very favourite place of 
amusement for the middle classes. At a some- 
what earlier date, it would appear to have been 
frequented alike by high and low, by lords and 
gay ladies, and by City apprentices ; and indeed 
was generally looked upon as a very favourite 
place of recreation. The derivation of the name 
is a little uncertain ; but Mr. Davis, in his "History 
of Knightsbridge," thus attempts to solve it : — 
" I never could unearth the origin of its name, 
but I presume the tradition told me by an old 
inhabitant of the neighbourhood is correct, namely, 
that it was so called after its first landlady, who 
caused the gardens round her house to be laid out 
in so fantastic a manner, as to cause the expressive 
little noun to be affixed to the pretty and familiar 
Christian name that she bore." 

In the " Reminiscences " of Angelo, however, it 
is said that the founder of "Jenny's Whim" was 
not a lady at all, but a celebrated pyrotechnist, who 
lived in the reign of George I. If so, this assertion 
carries back the existence of the " Whim " as a 
place of an-!usement to a very respectable antiquity. 
Angelo states that it was " much frequented from its 
novelty, being an inducement to allure the curious 
to it by its amusing deceptions." " Here," he 
adds, "was a large garden ; in difterent parts were 
recesses ; and by treading on a spring — taking you 
by surprise — up started different figures, some ugly 
enough to frigliten you outright — a harlequin, a 
Mother Shipton, or some terrific animal." Some- 
thing of the same kind, it may here be remarked, 
was to be seen in the days of Charles I., in the 
Spring Garden near Charing Cross.f " In a large 
piece of water facing the tea alcoves," adds Mr. 
Angelo, " large fish or mermaids were showing them- 
selves above the surface." Horace Walpole, in 
his letters, occasionally alludes to " Jenny's Whim," 
in terms which imply that he was among " the 
quality" who visited it. In one of his epistles to 
his friend Montagu, he writes, rather spitefully and 
maliciously, it must be owned, to the effect that at 
Vauxhall he and his party picked up Lord Granby, 
who had arrived very drunk from "Jenny's Whim." 
In 1755, a satirical tract was published, entitled, 
" Jenny's Whim ; or a Sure Guide to the Nobility, 
Gentry, and other Eminent Persons in this Metro- 
polis." " Jenny's Whim " has occasionally served 
the novelist for an illustration of the manners of 
the age. Let us take the following passage from 
" Maids of Honour," a tale temp. George I. : — 

t See Vol. IV., p. 77. 




" Attached to the place there were gardens and 
a bovvUng-green," writes the author ; " and parties 
were frequently made, composed of ladies and 
gentlemen, to enjoy a day's amusement there in 
eating strawberries and cream, cake, syllabub, and 
taking other refreshments, of which a great variety 
could be procured, with cider, peiry, ale, wine, and 
other liquors in abundance. The gentlemen played 
at bowls — some employed themselves at skittles ; 
whilst the ladies amused themselves with a swing, 
or walked about the garden, admiring the sunflower 
and hollyhocks, and the Duke of Marlborough 
cut out of a filbert-tree, and the roses and daisies, 
currants and gooseberries, that spread their alluring 
charms in every part." 

No doubt, therefore, we ^.^.ay conclude that a 
century, or a century and a half ago, "Jenny's 
Whim " was a favourite meeting-place for lovers 
in the happy courting seasons, and that a day's 
pleasure near Ebury Bridge was considered by the 
fair damsels of Westminster and Knightsbridge one 
of the most attractive amusements that could be 
offered to them by their beaux ; and many a heart 
which was obdurate elsewhere, gave way to gentle 
pressure beneath the influence of its attractions, 
aided by the genius loci., who is always most com- 
plaisant and benignant on such occasions. " Some- 
times," writes Mr. Davis, " all its chambers were 
filled, and its gardens were constantly thronged by 
gay and sentimental visitors." We may be sure, 
therefore, that always during the season — in other 
words, from Easter-tide till the end of St. Martin's 
summer, when the long evenings drew on — " Jenny's 
Whim " was largely frequented by the young people 
of either sex, and that its "arbours" and "alcoves" 
witnessed and overheard many a tale of love. It is 
well perhaps that garden walls have not tongues as 
well as ears. But, in any case, it is perhaps a little 
singular that a place, once so well known and so 
popular, should have passed away, clean forgotten 
from the public memory. 

All that appears to be known in detail about 
the house is, that it contained a large room for 
parties to breakfast in ; and that the grounds, though 
not large, were fairly diversified, as they contained 
a bowling-green, several alcoves and arbours, and 
straight, prim flower-beds, with a fish-pond in the 
centre, where the paths met at right angles. There 
was also a " cock-pit " in the garden, and in a pond 
adjoining the brutal sport of duck-hunting was 
carried on. This feature of the garden is specially 
mentioned in a short and slight sketch of the place 
to be found in the Cowwisseur of March 15th, 
1775 : — "The lower part of the people have their 
Ranelaghs and Vauxhalls as well as ' the quality.' 

Perrott's inimitable grotto may be seen for only 
calling for a pint of beer ; and the royal diversion 
of duck-hunting may be had into the bargain, 
together with a decanter of Dorchester [ale] for 
your sixpence at ' Jenny's Whim.' '^ 

Mr. Davis states, in his work above quoted, 
that the house was still partly standing in 1859, 
when his book was published, and might be easily 
identified by its " red brick and lattice-work." 

Notwithstanding all the attractions which the 
district of Pimiico thus afforded to the Londoners, 
to betake themselves thither in order to enjoy the 
good things provided for their entertainment, 
access to it must have been somewhat difficult 
and dangerous in the last century — a state of 
things, as we have more than once remarked, that 
seems to have been pretty similar in all the suburbs 
of the metropolis ; for we read in the London 
Magazine that, as lately as 1773, two persons were 
sentenced to death for a highway robbery in 
" Chelsea Fields," as that part of Pimiico bordering 
the Chelsea Road was then called. It is also not 
a matter of tradition, but of personal remembrance, 
that for the first twenty years of the present century 
persons who resided in the "suburb" of Pimiico 
rarely thought of venturing into London at night, 
so slight was the protection afforded them by the 
watchmen and " Charlies," aided by the faint 
glimmer of oil lamps, few and far between. 

Not far from the Mulberry Gardens, on the west 
side of what is now James Street, as we have stated 
in the previous volume,* stood a mansion, called 
Tart Hall, which was built, or, at all events, ex- 
tensively altered and enlarged, in the reign of 
Charles I., for the wife of Thomas, "the magni- 
ficent Earl of Arundel." On her death it passed 
into the hands of her second son, William, Lord 
Stafford, one of the victims of the plot of the 
infamous Titus Oates, in 1680, and whose memory 
is still kept up in the names of Stafford Place and 
Stafford Row. Strange to say, that John Evelyn 
himself, usually so circumstantial in all matters of 
detail, dismisses this legal murder without a single 
remark, beyond the dry entry in his " Diary," 
under December 20th, 1680: "The Viscount 
Stafford was beheaded on Tower Hill." It is said 
that the old gateway, which stood till early in the 
last century, was never opened after the con- 
demned nobleman passed through it for the last 

The building is described in the " New View 
of London" (1708), as being "near the way 
leading out of the Park to Chelsea;" and its 

• See Vol. IV.. p. 25. 




site is marked in Faithorne's Map of London, 
published in 1658. 

In his " Morning's Walk from London to Kew " 
(1817), Sir Richard Phillips \\Tites :—" The name 
of Stafford Row reminded me of the ancient dis- 
tinction of Tart Hall, once the rival in size 
and splendour of its more fortunate neighbour, 
Buckingham House. ... It faced the Park, on 
the present site of James Street ; its garden-wall 
standing where Stafford Row is now built, and 
the extensive livery-stables being once the stables 
of its residents." 

The origin of Tart Hall is unknown ; but the 
name is probably a corruption or abridgment of 
a longer word. It is noted, as to situation, in 
" Walpole's Anecdotes," as " without the gate of 
St. James's Park, near Buckingham House," and is 
described by him as "very large, and having a 
very venerable appearance." 

After the removal of the Anmdel marbles and 
other treasures from Arundel House, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Strand,'^ the remainder of the 
collection, as Walpole tells us, was kept at Tart 
Hall; but they were sold in 1720, and the house 
was subsequently pulled down. From the same 
authority we learn that some carved seats, by 
Inigo Jones, purchased at this sale, were placed 
by Lord Burlington in his villa at Chiswick. 
In the Harleian MSB., in the British Museum, is 
to be seen "A Memorial of all the Roomes at Tart 
Hall, and an Inventory of all the household stuffs 
and goods there, except of six Roomes at the 
North end of the ould Building (which the Right 
Honourable the Countess liath reserved unto her 
peculiar use), and Mr. Thomas Howard's Closett, 
Lvic," dated September, 1641. The memorial is 
curious as giving a catalogue, not only of the 
])icture-gallery, but of the carjDcts and decorations 
of this once magnificent palace. It is, however, 
too long in its details to be reprinted here. 

In Stafibrd Row, which lies immediately at the 
back of Buckingham Palace Hotel, lived, in the 
year 1767, William Wynne Ryland, the engraver, 
who was executed for forgery in 1783; here, too, 
during the early part of the present century, died 
Mrs. Radclifife, the author of "The ^Mysteries of 
Udolpho." Richard Yates, the actor, who was 
famous in the last century for his delineation of 
" old men," died at his residence in this Row in 
1796. The following singular story of the ill 
fortune which attended the actor and his family 
is told by Peter Cunningham, in his " Hand-book 
of London :" — "Yates had ordered eels for dinner, 

♦ See Vol. III., p. 73. 

and died the same day of rage and disappoint- 
ment, because his housekeeper was unable to 
obtain them. The actor's great-nephew was, a 
few months afterwards — August 22nd, 1796 — killed 
while endeavouring to effect an entrance into the 
house from the back garden. The great-nephew, 
whose name was Yates, claimed a right to the 
house, as did also a Miss Jones, and both lived 
in the house for some months after Yates' death. 
Yates, while strolling in the garden, was bolted out 
after an early dinner, and, while forcing his way in, 
was wounded by a ball from a pistol, which caused 
his death. The parties were acquitted." 

St. Peter's Chapel, on the west side of Charlotte 
Street, which runs southwards out of Buckingham 
Palace Road, just opposite to the Palace, and 
skirts the west end of Stafford Place, enjoys a 
melancholy celebrity, as having been the scene of 
the ministrations of Dr. Dodd, of whose executior 
for a forgery on Lord Chesterfield we shall have to 
make fuller mention when we come to speak of 
"Tyburn Tree." The following account of the 
life of Dr. Dodd is said to have been sketched 
by himself while lying in Newgate, awaiting his 
execution, and to have been finished by Dr. 
Johnson : — " I entered very young on public life, 
very innocent — very ignorant — and very ingenuous. 
I lived many happy years at West Ham, in an 
uninterrupted and successful discharge of my duty. 
A disappointment in the living of that parish 
obliged me to exert myself, and I engaged for a 
chapel near Buckingham Gate. Great success 
attended the undertaking ; it pleased and elated 
me. At the same time Lord Chesterfield, to 
whom I was personally unknown, offered me the 
care of his heir, Mr. Stanhope. By the advice of 
my dear friend, now in heaven, Dr. Squire, I 
engaged, under promises which were not per- 
formed. Such a distinction, too, you must know, 
served to increase a young man's vanity. I was 
naturally led into more extensive and important 
connections, and, of course, with greater expenses 
I and more dissipations. Indeed, before I nevei 
I dissipated at all — for many, many years, never 
seeing a playhouse, or any public place, but living 
[ entirely in Christian duties. Thus brought to 
' town, and introduced to gay life, I fell into its 
snares. Ambition and vanity led me on. My 
temper, naturally cheerful, was pleased with com- 
' pany ; naturally generous, it knew not the use of 
money; it was a stranger to the useful science of 
I economy and frugality ; nor could it withhold 
from distress what it too much (often) wanted 

"Besides this, the habit of uniform, regular., 




sober piety, and of watchfulness and devotion, 
wearing off, amidst this unavoidable scene of dissi- 
pation, I was not, as at West Ham, the innocent 
man that I lived there. I committed offences 
against my God, which yet, I bless Him, were 
always, on reflection, detestable to me. 

" But my greatest evil was expense. To supply 
it, I fell into the dreadful and ruinous mode 
of raising money by annuities. The annuities 

other publications prove. I can say, too, with 
pleasure, that I studiously employed my interest, 
through the connections I had, for the good of 
others. I never forgot or neglected the cause of 
the distressed ; many, if need were, could bear me 
witness. Let it suffice to say, that during this 
period I instituted the Charity for the Discharge of 

Close by Charlotte Street, in a small gloomy 


devoured me. Still, I exerted myself by every 
means to do what I thought right, and built my 
hopes of perfect extri -ation from all my difficulties 
when my young and beloved pupil should come of 
age. But, alas ! during this interval, which was 
not very long, I declare with solemn truth that 
I never varied from the steady belief of the 
Christian doctrines. I preached them with all my 
power, and kept back nothing from my congre- 
gations which I thought might tend to their best 
welfare ; and I was very successful in this way 
during the time. Nor, though I spent in dissi- 
pation many hours which I ought not, but to 
which my connections inevitably led, was I idle 
during this period ; as my ' Commentary on the 
Bible,' my ' Sermons to Young Men,' and several 

house, inside the gates of Messrs. Elliot's Brewery, 
between Brewer Street, Pimlico, and York Street, 
Westminster, lived Richard Heber, some time 
M.P. for the University of Oxford, and the owner 
of one of the finest private libraries in the world. 
Here he kept a portion of his library ; a second 
part occupying an entire house in James Street, 
Buckingliam Gate ; a third portion, from kitchen 
to attics, was at his country seat at Hodnet, in 
Shropshire ; and a fourth at Paris. " Nobody," 
he used to say, " could do without three copies of 
a book — one for show at his country house, one 
for personal use, and the third to lend to his 
friends." And this library, as we learn from "A 
Century of Anecdote," had but a small beginning 
— the accidental purchase of a chance volume 




picked up for a few pence at a bookstall, and 
about which Mr. Heber was for some time in 
doubt whether to buy it or not. The catalogue 
of Mr, Heber's library v.'as bound up in five thick 
octavo volumes. Dr. Dibdin once addressed to 
him a letter, entitled " Bibliomania ; " but he was 
no bibliomaniac, but a ripe and accomplished 
scholar. Mr. Heber took an active part in founding 
the Athenaeum Club, and he was also a member 

drawing the courtiers from Portland Place and 
Portman Square to the splendid mansions built by 
Messrs. Basevi and Cubitt, in wliat was knowTi at 
that time, and long before, as the 'Five Fields.' 
It seems but the other day," he adds, "that the 
writer of this brief notice of the place played at 
cricket in the Five Fields, 'w^here robbers lie in 
wait,' or pulled bulrushes in the ' cuts ' of the 
Willow Walk, in Pimlico." 


of several other literary societies ; indeed, to use 
the phrase of Dr. Johnson, " He was an excellent 
clubber." Pie was the half-brother of Reginald 
Heber, Bishop of Calcutta, and died a bachelor in 
1833, in the sixtieth year of his age. His extensive 
library was dispersed by auction in London. The 
sale commenced upon the loth of April, 1834, and 
occupied taw hundred and hvo days, and extended 
through a period of more than two years. The 
catalogue of this remarkable sale filled more than 
two thousand printed octavo pages, and contained 
no less than 52,672 lots. 

Mr. Peter Cunningham, in noticing the growth 

of this locality in his " Hand-book of London,'" 

says : " George IV. began the great alterations in 

Pimlico by rebuilding Buckingham House, and 


As might be naturally expected, the removal of 
King William and his Court from St. James's to 
Buckingham Palace, on his accession. to the throne 
in 1830, gave a considerable impetus to the im- 
provement of Pimlico, although a town of palaces 
had already been commenced upon the "Five 
Fields," as that dreary region had been formerly 
called. The ground landlord of a considerable 
portion of the land thus benefited by these metro- 
politan improvements was Lord Grosvenor, who, 
in the year 1831, was created Marquis of West- 
minster, and who, as we have already stated in our 
description of Grosvenor House in a former chapter, 
was grandfather of the present ducal owner. * 

• See Vol. IV., p. 371. 





"The sands of Chelsey FiMs."—Ben Jonson. 

Bcun^arv of the Parish-Etymology of its Name— Charles II. and Colonel Blood-Chelsea FielJs-The "Dwarfs Tavern "-Chapels of 
'\l nch Hugu^noi Refugees-Gardens and Nurseries-Ai.pearance of Chelsea from the River-Chdsea in the Last Century -A Stag Hunt in 
Chelsea-History of th^ Manor— The Old Manor House and its Eminent Residents-Lord Cremornc's Farm at Chelsea— Lady Creraorne 
— Liiidsey House— The Moravians— The Duchess of Mazaniie— Sir Robert Walpole's House— Shrewsbury H^^use— Winchester House— 
Beaufort House and the " Good " Sir Thomas More— An.-cdotes of Sir Tiiomas More— The Old and New Parish Churches. 

Few, if any, of the suburban districts of the 
metropohs can lay claim to greater interest, bio- 
graphical as well as topographical, than the locality 
upon wliich we have now entered. In Faulkner's 
"History of Chelsea,'" we read that the parish 
is "bounded on the north by the Fulham Road, 
which separates it from Kensington ; on the cast 
by a rivulet, which divides it from St. George's, 
Hanover Square, and which enters the Thames 
near Ranelagh ; on the west a brook, which rises 
near Wormholt Scrubs, and falls into the Thames 
facing Battersea Church, divides this parish from 
that of Fulham ; and on the south it is bounded 
by the Thames." Lysons observes tliat the most 
ancient record in which he has seen the name 
of place mentioned is a charter of Edward 
the Confessor, in which it is written "Cealchylle."* 
The name seems to have puzzled the Norman 
scribes, for in Domesday Book it is written both 
" Cercehede " and " Chelched ; " and in certain 
documents of a later date it is called "Chelcheth," 
or "Chelcith." "The word 'Chelsey,'" observes 
Mr. Norris Brewer, in the " Beauties of England 
and Wales," "was first adopted in the si.xteenth 
century, and the present mode of spelling the 
name appears to have grown into use about a 
century back." It may here be remarked that 
the name of Chelsea has been derived by some 
writers from " Shelves " of sand, and " ey," or 
" ea," land situated near the water. But Lysons 
prefers the etymology of Norden, who says that 
" it is so called from the nature of the place, its 
strand being like the chesel [r^vjv/, or cesol\ which 
the sea casteth up of sand and pebble stones, 
thereof called Chevelsey, briefly Chelsey." In 
like manner it may be added that the beach of 
pebbles thrown up by the action of the sea out- 
side Weymouth harbour, is styled the Chesil bank. 
Perhaps it is the same word at bottom as Selsey, 
the name of a peninsula of pebbles on the Sussex 
coast, near Chichester. 

As a symbol of infinity, Ben Jonson, in his 
" Forest," speaks of 

' " Environs of London," voi. ii.; p. 70. 

"All the grass that Romney yields, 
Or the sands of Chelsey Fields." 

Macaulay reminds us that, at the end of the 
reign of Charles II., Chelsea was a " quiet country 
village, with about a thousand inhabitants ; the 
baptisms averaging little more than forty in the 
year," At that time the Thames was sufiiciently 
clear and pure for bathing above Westminster. 
We are told that, on one occasion, Charles II. 
was bathing at Chelsea, when the notorious Colonel 
Blood lay hid among the reeds at Battersea, in 
order to shoot him. Notwithstanding its remote- 
ness from the metropolis, however, Chelsea does 
not appear to have escaped the ravages of the 
" Great Plague," for It raged here as v/ell as in 
other suburbs of London, as Pepys informs us, in 
his "Diary," under date of April 9th, 1666: — 
"Thinking to have been merry at Chelsey; but, 
being almost come to the house by coach, near 
the waterside, a h.ouse alone, I think the ' Swan,' 
a gentleman walking by called out to us that the 
house was shut up because of the sickness." 

Chelsea Fields must have been quite a rustic 
spot even to a )-et later date, for Gay thus ad' 
dresses his friend Pulteney : — 

" When the sweet-breathing spring unfolds the buds. 
Love flies the dusty town for shady woods ; 


Chelsea's meads o'erhear perfidious vows, 
And the press'd grass defrauds the grazing cows." 

In " Chelsea Fields " was formerly a tavern, 
known as " The Dwarf's," kept by John Coan, a 
diminutive manikin from Norfolk. " It seems to 
have been a place of some attraction," says Mr» 
Larwood, " since it was honoured by the repeated 
visits of an Indian king." Thus the Daily Adver- 
tiser oi July 12, 1762, says: "On Friday last the 
Cherokee king and his two chiefs were so greatly 
pleased with the curiosities of the Dwarf's Tavern, 
in Chelsea Fields, that they were there again on 
Sunday, at seven in the evening, to drink tea, and 
will be there again in a few days." The reputation 
of the tavern, under its pygmean proprietor, was 
but brief, as the " unparalleled " Coan, as he ia 
styled, died within two years from the above date. 




In the reign of William III., the French Hugue 
not refugees had two chapels in Chelsea : the 
one in " Cook's Grounds," now used by the Con- 
gregationalists, and another at Little Chelsea, not 
far from Kensington, 

"Chelsea," observes a writer in the Mirror, in 
1833, "though now proverbial for its dulness, 
was formerly a place of great gaiety. Thousands 
flocked to Salter's— or, as it was dubbed, 'Don 
Saltero's ' — coffee-house in Cheyne Walk ; the 
Chelsea buns were eaten by princesses ; and the 
public were allowed to walk in thirteen acres of 
avenues of limes and chestnut-trees in the gardens 
adjoining the College. This privilege was dis- 
allowed in 1806; but within the last few weeks 
these grounds have been again thrown open to 
the public." The ground round about Chelsea 
and its neighbourhood, like tliat of Bermondsey, 
and other low-lying districts bordering upon the 
Thames, is peculiarly adapted for the growth of 
vegetables, fruits, and flowers ; indeed, Chelsea 
has long been remarkable for its gardens and 
nurseries. Dr. !Mackay, in his " Extraordinary 
Popular Delusions," tells us that about the time 
of Her Majesty's accession, there was a gardener 
in the King's Road, Chelsea, in whose catalogue 
a single tulip was marked at two hundred guineas 
— a remnant, perhaps, of the tulip-mania, which, 
two centuries before, had ruined half of the 
merchants of Holland, and threatened to prove 
as disastrous here as the " South Sea Bubble." | 
It may be added, too, that the first red geranium 
seen in England is said to have been raised by 
a Mr. Davis here, about the year 1S22. 

Chelsea, which was once a rustic and retired 
village, ".as been gradually absorbed into the 
metropolis by the advance of the army of brick- 
layers and mortar-layers, and now forms fairly a 
portion of London, Pimlico and Belgravia having 
supplied the connecting link. Environed though 
it is by the growing suburbs, the place has still 
an old-fashioned look about it, which the modern, 
trimly-laid-out flower-gardens on the new embank- 
ment only tend to increase. Looked at from the 
Battersea side of the river, with the barges floating 
lazily along past the solid red-brick houses, screened 
by sheltering trees, Chelsea presents such a picture 
as the old Dutch " masters " would have revelled 
in, especially as the Thames here widens into 
a fine "reach," well known to oarsmen for the 
rough "seas" which they encounter there on 
those occasions when the wind meets the tide ; 
in fact, the river is wider at this particular spot 
than anywhere "above bridge." In the reign of 
Charles II. it was such a fashionable rendezvous 

that it was frequently called " Hyde Park on the 

Bowack thus writes, in an account of Chelsea, 
published in 1705 : — "The situati©n of it upon 
the Thames is very pleasant, and standing in 
a small bay, or angle, made by the meeting of 
Chelsea and Battersea Reaches, it has a most 
delightful prospect on that river for near four 
miles, as far as Vauxhall eastward, and as Wands- 
worth to the west." 

In the last century, Chelsea being, in fact, quite 
a suburban place, had its own society ; " its many 
honourable and worthy inhabitants," as we are told 
by Bowack, " being not more remarkable for their 
titles, estates, and employments, than for their 
civility and condescension, and their kind and 
facetious tempers, living in a perfect amity among 
themselves, and having a general meeting every day 
at a coffee-house near the church, well known for 
a pretty collection of varieties in nature and art, 
some of which are very curious." The coffee-house 
here mentioned was the renowned Don Saltero's, 
of which we shall have more to say in the next 

Mr. Peter Cunningham speaks of Chelsea as "at 
one time the Islington of the West-end," and thus 
enumerates the articles for which it has from time 
to time been famous : — Its manor house, its college, 
its botanic garden, its hospital, its amusements at 
Ranelagh, its waterworks, its buns, its china, and 
its custards. 

"About the year 1796," writes Faulkner, in his 
" History of Chelsea," " I was present at a stag- 
hunt in Chelsea. The animal swam across the river 
from Battersea, and made for Lord Cremorne's 
grounds. Upon being driven from thence, he ran 
along the water-side as far as the church, and 
turning up Church Lane, at last took refuge in 
Mrs. Hutchins's barn, where he was taken alive." 

The connection of Chelsea with Westminster, 
already stated in our account* of the " Monster" 
Tavern, Pimlico, is probably of very old standing, 
for even during the rule of our Norman kings it 
appears to have been one of the manors belonging 
to the abbey of St. Peter. Little, however, is 
known with certainty of the history of this now 
extensive parish till the time of Henry VII., when 
the manor was held by Sir Reginald Bray, from 
whom it descended to Margaret, only child of his 
next brotlier, John, who married William, Lord 
Sandys. From Lord Sandys the manor passed, in 
exchange for other lands, to that rapacious king, 
Henry VIII,, by whom it was assigned to Katharine 

* See above, p. 4S. 




Parr, as part of her marriage jointure. Faulkner, 
in his work above quoted, says that " Henry was 
probably induced to possess this manor from having 
observed, in his frequent visits to Sir Thomas More, 
tlie pleasantness of the situation on the bank of 
the Thames] and, from the salubrity of the air, 
deeming it a fit residence for his infant daughter, 
the Princess Elizabeth, then between three and 
four years of age. But after having obtained it, 
finding that the manor house was ancient, and 
at that time in the possession of the Lawrence 
family, he erected a new manor house, on the 
eastern side of the spot where Winchester House 
lately stood, and supplied it with water from a 
spring at Kensington." The manor was subse- 
quently held by John Dudley, Duke of Northum- 
berland ; by Anne, Duchess of Somerset, widow of 
the •'* Protector ; " by John, first Lord Stanhope, 
of Harrington ; by Katharine, Lady Howard, wife 
of the Lord Admiral ; by James, first Duke of 
Hamilton ; by Charles, Viscount Cheyne ; and by 
Sir Hans Sloane, the celebrated physician, who 
purchased it in 17 12 from the Cheyne family, 
and from whom it passed by marriage to Cliarles, 
second Lord Cadogan, of Oakley, through which 
alliance the manor of Chelsea became vested in 
the Cadogans, with whom it still remains. 

The old manor house stood near the church, and 
was sold by Henry VHL to the Lawrence family, 
after whom Lawrence Street derives its name. -The 
new manor house stood on that part of Cheyne 
Walk fronting the Thames, between the Pier Hotel 
and the house formerly known as " Don Saltero's 
Coff'ee-house." The building, of which a view of 
the north front is engraved in Faulkner's " History 
of Chelsea" (see page 49), was of a quadrangular 
form, enclosing a spacious court, and was partly 
embattled. The mansion was pulled down shortly 
after the death of Sir Hans Sloane, in the middle of 
the last century, and a row of houses erected on 
the site. 

Like Kensington, Chelsea has been from time 
to time the residence of many individuals of high 
rank, who were attracted to it on account of its 
nearness to the Court, and its easiness of access at 
a tinie when the roads of the suburbs were bad, and 
the Thames was the "silent highway" to families 
who could afford to keep their barge. So far as 
rank and station are concerned, perhaps the first 
and foremost of its residents was the Princess 
(afterwards Queen) Elizabeth. After her father's 
death, Miss Lucy Aikin tells us, in her " Memoirs 
of the Court " of that sovereign, the princess " had 
been consigned to the care and protection of the 
Queen Dowager (Katharine Parr), with whom she 

usually made her abode at one or other of her 
jointure houses at Chelsea, or at Hanworth, near 

In the reign of Elizabeth, the Lord High Admiral, 
the Earl of Efiingham, was among the residents of 
this place ; and we are told by Bishop Goodman 
that, in her " progresses " from Richmond to White- 
hall, the " Virgin Queen " would often dine with his 
lordship at Chelsea, and afterwards set out thence 
towards London, late at night, by torchlight, in 
order that the Lord Mayor and aldermen, and the 
other loyal citizens, might not see those wrinkles 
and that ugly throat of hers, with which Horace 
Walpole has made us familiar in his representatiori 
of a coin struck shordy before her death. 

Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who 
acquired high renown at the battles of Cressy and 
Poictiers, appears to have occasionally resided at 
Chelsea. It is supposed that he occupied a house 
and premises which afterwards belonged to Richard 
Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, and which were 
granted by Richard HI. to Elizabeth, widow of 
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, for life, "to 
be held by the service of a red rose." The site of 
this mansion, however, is now unknown, as also is 
the spot once occupied by a house in Chelsea 
which was possessed by William, Marquis of 
Berkeley, an adherent of the Earl of Richmond 
(afterwards Henry VII.). 

In April, 1663, we find Lord Sandwich at his 
Chelsea lodging, eating cakes made by the mistress 
of the house, and, it may be added, the mother of 
his own mistress — cakes so good that, says Pepys, 
" they were fit to present to my Lady Castle- 
maine " — a curious parody of the lines of the 
old nursery rhyme : — 

" Now was not that a dainty dish 
To set before a king ? " 

Among the residents of Chelsea in the last cen- 
tury was Lord Cremorne,' who occupied a house 
called Chelsea Farm, which was situated at a short 
distance from the bridge, on the site now covered 
by Cremorne Gardens. Lady Cremorne is cele- 
brated in the " Percy Anecdotes " as the best mis- 
tress of .a household that ever lived. She had a 
servant, Elizabeth Palfrey, who had lived with her 
for forty-eight years, during the latter half of the 
time as housekeeper, and who so regulated affairs 
that in all that long time not one of the female 
servants was known to have left her place, except 
in order to be married. Such mistresses are rare 
now, and probably were not common even in her 
day. As late as 1826, the name of Viscountess 
Cremorne appears in the " Royal Blue Book," with 




"Chelsea Farm" as her country residence. The 
edifice, which was built of brick, overlooked the 
river, from which it was separated by a lawn, 
pleasantly shaded by stately trees. The house had 
a somewhat irregular appearance externally, and 
little to boast of in the way of architecture ; but 
the interior was commodious, and the best suite of 
rooms well adapted to the use of a distinguished 
family. Here was a small but judicious collection 
of pictures, formed by Viscount Cremorne, among 
which were some by noted Flemish and Italian 

Lindsey Row and Lindsey Place, facing the 
river immediately westward of Battersea Bridge, 
mark the site of Lindsey House, the residence of 
the Berties, Earls of Lindsey. About the middle 
of the last century the mansion was purchased by 
Count Zinzendorf, a leader of the peculiar sect 
known as Moravians, for the purpose of establish- 
ing a settlement of that society in Chelsea ; but 
the project failed ; the building was again sold, and 
subsequently demolished, or cut up into private 

In a small house in Chelsea, rented from Lord 
Cheyne, died, in difficulties, the beautiful Duchess 
of Mazarine, one of the frail beauties of the Court 
of Charles II. 

In Lyson's " Environs," we read that about the 
year 1722 Sir Robert Walpole, the well-known 
prime minister of George II., " became possessed 
of a house and garden in the stable-yard at 
Chelsea." The house was "next the college," 
adjoining Cough House. Sir Robert frequently 
resided there, improved and added to the house, 
and considerably enlarged the gardens by a pur- 
chase of some land from the Cough family ; he 
erected an octagonal summer-house at the head of 
the terrace, and a large green-house, where he had 
a fine collection of exotics. A good story is told 
about Queen Caroline, when dining one day here 
with Lady ^A^alpole. Sir Paul Methuen, who was 
one of the company, was remarkable for his love of 
romances. The queen asked him what he had 
been reading of late in his own way. " Nothing, 
madam," said Sir Paul ; " I have now commenced, 
instead of romances, a very foolish study, ' The 
History of the Kings and Queens of England.' " 
Horace Walpole informs us that he remembered 
La Belle Jennings (afterwards Duchess of Marl- 
borough) coming to his parents' house to solicit a 

Shrewsbury House, or, as it was sometimes 
called, Alston House, in Cheyne Walk, near 'the 
waterside, if we may trust Priscilla Wakefield's 
" Perambulations in London," was a paper manu- 

factory at the time of its demolition in 18 14. It 
was an irregular brick building, forming three sides 
of a quadrangle. The principal room was upwards 
of 100 feet long, and was originally wainscoted 
with carved oak. One of the rooms was painted 
in imitation of marble, and others were ornamented 
with certain " curious portraits on panel." Leading 
from the premises towards the King's Road was 
a subterranean passage, which is traditionally said 
to have communicated with a cave, or dungeon, 
situated at some distance from the house. 

Winchester House, the Palace of the Bishops of 
Winchester from about the middle of the seven- 
teenth down to the commencement of the present 
century, stood on the spot now occupied by the 
Pier Hotel, and its gardens adjoined Shrewsbury 
House. It was a heavy brick building, of low 
proportions, and quite devoid of any architectural 
ornament. The interior was fairly commodious, 
and " much enriched by the collection of antiques 
and specimens of natural history " placed there by 
Bishop North, the last prelate who occupied it 
Bishop Hoadley, who died here in 1761, was so 
lax in his ideas of Church authority, that some 
free-thinking Christians were wittily styled by 
Archbishop Seeker, '•' Christians secundum usum 
Winton," in allusion to the customary title of books 
printed " for the use of the Winchester scholars." 

The chief interest of Chelsea, however, not only 
to the antiquary, but to the educated Englishman, 
must lie in the fact that it was the much-loved 
home of that great man whose memory English 
history will never allow to die. Sir Thomas More. 
Here he resided, surrounded by his family, in a 
house about midway between the Thames and the 
King's Road, on the site of what is now Beaufort 
Street. In Aubrey's " Letters from the Bodleian," 
we read : — " His country house was at Chelsey, 
in Middlesex, where Sir John Danvers built his 
house. The chimney-piece, of marble, in Sir John's 
chamber, was the chimney-piece of Sir Thomas 
More's chamber, as Sir John himself told me. 
Where the gate is now, adorned with two noble 
pyramids, there stood anciently a gate-house, which 
was fiatt on the top, leaded, from whence was a 
most pleasant prospect of the Thames and the 
fields beyond ; on this place the Lord Chancellor 
More was wont to recreate himself and contem- 

Erasmus — himself one of the most cherished 
friends of Sir Thomas — describes the house as 
"neither mean nor subject to envy, yet magnificent 
and commodious enough." The building, which 
was erected early in the sixteenth century, was 
successively called Buckingham House and Beau- 




fort House, and was pulled down about the middle 
of the last century. At the end of the garden Sir 
Thomas erected a pile of buildings, consisting of a 
chapel, gallery, and library, all being designed for 
his own retirement. His piety, staunch and firm 

retired to the new buildings, where he spent the 
whole day in prayer and meditation." 

Sir Thomas usually attended Divine service on 
Sundays at Chelsea Church, and very often assisted 
at the celebration of mass. The Duke of Norfolk 


as was his adherence to the Roman Catholic creed, 
is acknowledged even by Protestant '^Titers. Wood, 
in his " Ecclesiastical Antiquities," says : — " More 
rose early, and assembled his family morning and 
evening in the chapel, when certain prayers and 
Psalms were recited. He heard mass daily him- 
self, and expected all his household to do so on 
Sundays and festivals ; whilst, on the eves of great 
feasts, all watched till matins. Every Friday, as 
was also his custom on some other occasions, he 

coming owe day to dine with him during his 
chancellorship, found him in church with a sur- 
plice on, and singing in the choir. " God's body, 
my Lord Chancellor!" said the duke, as they 
returned to his house. "What! a parish clerk ! a 
parish clerk! you dishonour the king and his 
office." " Nay," said Sir Thomas, '' you may not 
think your master and mine will be offended with 
me for serving God, his master, or thereby count 
his office dishonoured." 




OLD MANSIONS IN CHELSEA. {F7-om Faulkner's " Chelsea") 
I. Church Place, 1641. 2. Gough House, 1760. 3. Shrewsburj- House, 1540. 4. Eeaufort House, 1628. 5. Winchester House. 



In later years the chapel in More's house appears 
to have been free to the public, for in various 
marriage licences, granted towards the commence- 
ment of the last century, persons were to be 
married " in the parish church, in the chapel of 
Chelsea College, or the chapel of Beaufort House." 
The only fragment of the house remaining down 
to the present century was a portion of the cellars, 
which existed beneath the house No. 17, forming 
one of the line of dwellings now known by the 
name of Beaufort, Row. An avenue, with a high 
wall on each side, constituted the chief approach 
to the house, or that from the river-side ; and 
fronting the entrance of this avenue were the stairs 
used by Sir Thomas More when descending to 
his barge. A terrace-walk, which stretched from 
the house towards the east, is described in the 
legal writings of the estate as being so much raised 
that it was ascended by several steps. After the 
demolition of the house a portion of the ground 
Avas occupied as a burial-place for the Moravian 
Society, and the remains of the stables were con- 
verted into public schools. 

The most important circumstances in the life of 
Sir Thomas More are too well known to need 
repetition in these pages. His domestic life at 
Chelsea has been described by Erasmus in the 
following words : — " There he converses with his 
-wife, his son, his daughter-in-law, his three daughters 
.and their husbands, with eleven grandchildren. 
There is not any man living so affectionate as he, 
and he loveth his old wife as well as if she was a 
joung maid. You would say there was in that 
place Plato's Academy; but I do his house an 
injury in comparing it to Plato's Academy, where 
there were only disputations of numbers and geo- 
.metrical figures, and sometimes of moral virtues. 
I should rather call his house a school, or university 
of Christian religion, for though there is none 
therein but readeth or studreth the liberal sciences, 
their special care is piety and virtue ; there is no 
quan-elling or intemperate words heard; none seen 
idle ; that worthy gendeman doth not govern with 
proud and lofty words, but with well-timed and 
courteous benevolence ; everybody performeth his 
-duty, yet is there always alacrity ; neither is sober 
mirth anything wanting." 

Erasmus was the correspondent of Sir Thomas 
More long before he was personally acquainted 
Avith his illustrious friend ; and although strongly 
dissimilar in religious opinions, when the great 
reformer and scholar visited England he was the 
frequent guest of Sir Thomas at Chelsea. The 
house of More was, indeed, the resort of all who 
were conspicuous for learning and taste. Collet, 

Linacre, and Tunstall often partook of the hospi- 
tality of his table. Here Sir Thomas often enter- 
tained " Master John Heywood," the early English 
playwright, and cracked with him many a joke. 
It is said that it was through Sir Thomas More 
that he was introduced to the Lady Mary, and so 
was brought under the notice of Henry VIIL, 
who appointed him the Court jester. Those were, 
indeed, strange days, when a buffoon dared to 
laugh in the face of a sovereign who could send to 
the scaffold so venerable, so grave and learned a 
scholar, and so loyal a subject of the Crown. The 
wit of Sir Thomas More was almost boundless, and 
he was also no mean actor. It is related of him 
that when an interlude was performed he would 
"make one among the players, occasionally coming 
upon them by surprise, and without rehearsal fall 
into a character, and support the part by his 
extemporaneous invention, and acquit himself with 
credit." It was probably by his intercourse with 
Heywood that the latent dramatic powers of the 
great Lord Chancellor were called out. 

Henry VIIL, to whom More owed his rise and 
fall, frequently came to Chelsea, and spent whole 
days in the most familiar manner with his learned 
friend ; and " it is supposed," says Faulkner, in his 
"History of Chelsea," "that the king's answer to 
Luther was prepared and arranged for the public 
eye, with the assistance of Sir Thomas, during 
these visits." Notwithstanding all this familiarity. 
Sir Thomas understood the temper of his royal 
master very well, as the following anecdote suffi- 
ciently testifies: — "One day the king came unex- 
pectedly to Chelsea, and dined with him, and after 
dinner walked in his garden for the space of an 
hour, holding his arm about his neck. As soon 
as his Majesty was gone, Sir Thomas's son-in-law 
observed to him how happy he was, since the king 
had treated him with that familiarity he had never 
used to any person before, except Cardinal Wolsey, 
with whom he once saw hrs Majesty walk arm-in- 
arm." " I thank our Lord," answered Sir Thomas, 
" I find his grace my very good lord indeed ; and I 
believe he doth as singularly love me as any subject 
within this realm ; however, son Roper, I may tell 
thee I have no cause to be proud thereof, for if my 
head would win him a castle in France, it should 
not fail to go off." 

Sir Thomas More is said to have converted one 
part of his house into a prison for the restraint of 
heretics; and according to a passage in " Foxe's 
Book of Martyrs," he here kept in prison, and 
whipped in his garden, one John Baynham, a 
lawyer, who was suspected of holding the doctrines 
of Wycliffe, and who was ultimately burnt at Smith- 




field. But it must be remembered that he Hved 
in an age wlien rehgious persecuticn was practised 
by all parties, and when, as Byron writes — 
" Christians did burn each other, quite persuaded 
That all th' Apostles would have done as they did." 

Mora's fondness for animals is an interesting 
and curious peculiarity. Erasmus tells us, that 
watching their growth, development, and disposi- 
tions, was one of his chief pleasures. " At Chelsea 
may be seen many varieties of birds, and an ape, a 
fox, a weasel, and a ferret. Moreover, if anything 
foreign, or otherwise remarkable, comes in his way, 
he greedily buys it up, and he has his house com- 
pletely furnished with tliese objects; so that, as 
you enter, there is everywhere something to catch 
the eye, and he renews his own pleasure as often 
as he becomes a witness to the delight of others." 
AVith one of his favourite dogs. Sir Thomas would 
frequently sit in fine weather on the top of the 
gate-house, in order to enjoy the agreeable prospect. 
A curious story is told in the " Percy Anecdotes," 
which will bear repeating : — " It happened one day 
that a ' Tom o' Bedlam,' a maniac vagrant, got up- 
stairs while Sir Thomas was there, and coming up 
to him, cried out, ' Leap, Tom, leap ! ' at the same 
time, attempting to throw his lordship over the 
battlements. Sir Thomas, who was a feeble old 
man, and incapable of much resistance, had the 
presence of mind to say, ' Let us first throw this 
little dog over.' The maniac threw the dog down 
immediately. ' Pretty sport,' said the Lord Chan- 
cellor ; ' now go down and bring him up ; then 
we'll try again.' While the poor madman went 
down for the dog, his lordship made fast the door 
of the stairs, and, calling for help, saved his life." 

Sir Thomas More is to be remembered also with 
gratitude on quite another score, and on higher 
grounds ; for he was the generous patron of 
Holbein, the Court painter, who occupied rooms in 
his house for three years, and was employed in 
drawing portraits of his patron and his family. 

Hoddesdon, in his " History of More," says : — 
" He seldom used to feast noble men, but his poor 
neighbours often, whom he would visit in their 
houses, and bestow upon them his large liberality 
— not groats, but crowns of gold — even more than 
according to their wants. He hired a house also 
for many aged people in Chelsea, whom he daily 
relieved, and it was his daughter Margaret's charge 
to see them want nothing ; and when he was a 
private lawyer he would take no fees of poor folks, 
widows, nor pupils." 

By indefxtigable application Sir Thomas More 
cleared the Court of Chancery of all its causes. One 
day, having ended a cause, he called for the next. 

and was told that " there was no other depending 
in the court." He was delighted to hear it, and 
ordered it to be inserted in the records of the 
court. This gave rise to the epigram — not the 
worst in the English language — which we have 
already quoted in our account of Lincoln's Inn.* 
After having held the Great Seal for two years and 
a half. Sir Thomas, on being pressed by the king to- 
hasten on his divorce from Catherine of Arragon,. 
resigned his office in May, 1532. He retired 
cheerfully to the privacy of domestic life, and tO' 
the studies which he was not long to enjoy. Oi>. 
the day after he resigned the chancellorship. Sir 
Thomas went to church, as usual, with his wife and- 
family, none of whom he had yet informed of his 
resignation. During the service, as was his custom, 
he sat in the choir in a surplice. After the service 
it was usual for one of his attendants to go to her 
ladyship's pew and say, " My lord is go"n« before.'" 
But this day the ex-Chancellor came himself, and, 
making a low bow said, '* Madam, my lord is 
gone." Then, on their way home, we are told, "to 
her great mortification, he unriddled his mournful 
pleasantry, by telling her his lordship was gone.. 
in the loss of his ofiicial dignities." He was in- 
cluded in the bill of attainder introduced into 
Parliament to punish Elizabeth Barton — " the holy 
maifl of Kent " — and her accomplices ; but orr- 
his disclaiming any surviving faith in the nun, or 
any share in her treasonable designs, his name was; 
ultimately struck out of the bill. On the passing 
of the Act of Succession, which declared the king's, 
marriage with Catherine invalid, and fixed the 
succession in the children of Anne Boleyn, More 
declined to accept it, and refused to take the oath. 
A few days afterwards he was committed to the 
Tower, and in the space of a few short months, as-, 
is known to every reader of English history, was 
placed on his trial for high treason, found guilty, and 
executed on Tower Hill. More retained his mild 
and characteristic jocularity to the last. "Going 
up the scaffold, which was so weak that it was 
ready to fall," we read in Roper's " Life of More," 
" he said hurriedly to the lieutenant, ' I pray you, 
Master Lieutenant, see me safe up ; and for my, 
coming down, let me shift for myself When the- 
axe of the executioner was about to fall, he asked ' 
for a moment's delay while he moved aside his 
beard. ' Pity that should be cut,' he murmured ;^ 
'i/iaf surely has not committed treason,'"' .5 

" Thou art the cause of this man's death," said 
Henry VIII. to Anne Boleyn when the news of his 
execution was brought to the guilty couple; and 

See Vo!. III., p. 53. 




the king rose, left his paramour, and shut himself 
up in his chamber " in great perturbation of spirit." 
At that perturbation we need not wonder — the 
greatest man of tlie realm had been beheaded 
as a victim to the royal lust. It may be truly 
said that during the reign of Henry VIII. there 
lived and moved, in a prominent position, but one 
man whose memory is held in high esteem by all 
parties, and that man was Sir Thomas More. 
Protestants as well as Roman Catholics alike vene- 
rated his name, while they held his life up as a 
model for all time, and even the more extreme 
Protestants had less to say in his disfavour than 
about any other leading son of the Church. Risen 
through his own exertions from comparative ob- 
scurity. Sir Thomas More held the highest lay 
position in the land, bore off the palm in learning 
as in probity, was faithful to his God as well as 
to his king and to his own lofty principles, and 
died because he would not and could not make 
his conscience truckle to the lewd desires of 
his earthly master. A grand lawyer, a great 
statesman, a profound politician, an example of 
domesticity for all generations, a deep student 
of the things of the spiritual as well as of the tem- 
poral life, and a Catholic of Catholics — Sir Thomas 
More earned and commanded, and will continue to 
command, the profoundest respect of all high- 
minded Englishmen. Sir Thomas More, indeed, 
was justly called by Thomson, in his " Seasons " — 
"A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death." 

Sir Thomas More's house appears to have become 
after\vards the residence of royalty. Anne of 
Cleves died here in 1557; and Katharine Parr 
occupied it after her re-marriage with Admiral 
Seymou", having charge of the Princess Elizabeth, 
then a child of thirteen. 

The old parish church of Chelsea, dedicated to 
St. Luke, stands parallel with the river. It is con- 
structed chiefly of brick, and is by no means con- 
spicuous for beauty. It appears to have been 
erected piecemeal at different periods, and the 
builders do not seem to have aimed in the slightest 
degree at architectural arrangement ; nevertheless, 
though the building is sadly incongruous and much 
barbarised, its interior is still picturesque. The 
chancel and a part of the north aisle are the only 
^portions which can lay claim to antiquity ; the 
iformer was rebuilt shordy before the Reformation. 
'The eastern end of the north aisle is the cliapel of 
tfhe Lawrence family, which was probably founded 
in the fourteenth century. The southern aisle was 
'erected at the cost of good Sir Thomas More, who 
also gave the communion plate. With a forecast 
of the coming troubles, he remarked, " Good men 

give these things, and bad men will soon take 
them away." At the commencement of the present 
century modern windows, with frames of wood- 
work, were introduced. These, it need hardly be 
said, in no way improved the already mean appear- 
ance of the fabric. More's chapel, which was an 
absolute freehold, and beyond the control of the 
bishop, was allowed to fall into a very dilapidated 
condition ; but it has recently been purchased by 
a Mr. R. H. Davies, who has transferred it to 
the rector, churchwardens, and trustees of the new 
church of St. Luke, under whose charge the old 
parisli church is placed ; and it has since been 
partially restored. The church was considerably 
enlarged in the middle of the seventeenth century, 
at which time the heavy brick tower at the west 
end was erected. The interior consists of a nave, 
chancel, and two aisles, comprehending the two 
chapels above mentioned. The roof of the chancel 
is arched, and it is separated from the nave by a 
semi-circular arch, above which hang several escut- 
cheons and banners ; the latter, very faded and 
tattered, are said to have been the needlework of 
Queen Charlotte, by whom they were presented to 
the Royal Volunteers. They were deposited here 
on the disbandment of the regiment. Near the 
south-west corner of the church, resting upon a 
window-sill, is an ancient book-case and desk, on 
which are displayed a chained Bible, a Book of 
Homilies, and some other works, including " Foxe's 
Book of Martyrs." In the porch, placed upon 
brackets on the wall, is a bell, which was presented 
to the church by the Hon. \Villiam Ashburnham, 
in 1679, in commemoration of his escape from 
drowning. It appears, from a tablet on the wall, 
that Mr. Ashburnham was walking on the bank of 
the Thames at Chelsea one very dark night in 
winter, apparently in a meditative mood, and had 
strayed into the river, when he was suddenly brought 
to a sense of his situation by hearing the church 
clock strike nine. Mr. Ashburnham left a sum of 
money to the parish to pay for the ringing of the 
bell every evening at nine o'clock, but the custom 
was discontinued in 1825, The bell, after lying 
neglected for many years in the clock-room, was 
placed in ^its present position after a silence of 
thirty years. 

The monuments in the church are both nume- 
rous and interesting. On the north side of the 
chancel is an ancient altar-tomb without any in- 
scription, but supposed to belong to the family of 
Bray, of Eaton. On the south wall of the chancel 
is a tablet of black marble, surmounted by a flat 
Gothic arch, in memory of Sir Thomas More. It 
was originally erected by himself, in 1532, some 

Chelsea. 1 



three years before his death ; but being much 
worn, it w^s restored, at the expense of Sir Jolin 
Lawrence, of Chelsea, in the reign of Charles L, 
and again by subscription, in 1833. 

The Latin inscription was written by More 
himself; but an allusion to "heretics," which it 
contained, is stated to have been purposely omitted 
when the monument was restored. A blank space 
is left for the word. Although More's first wife 
lies buried here, the place of interment of Sir 
Thomas himself is somewhat doubtful. Weever 
and Anthony Wood say tliat his daughter, Margaret 
Roper, removed his body to Chelsea. Pearlier 
writers, however, ditifer as to the precise spot of 
his burial, some saying that he was interred in the 
belfry, and others near the vestry of the chapel 
of St. Peter, in the Tower. It is recorded that his 
daughter took thither the body of Bishop P'isher, 
that it might lie near her father's, and, therefore, it 
is probable that the Tower still contains his ashes. 
The head of Sir Thomas More is deposited in St. 
Dunstan's Church at Canterbury, where it is pre- 
served in a niche in the wall, secured by an iron 
grate, near the coffin of Margaret Roper. 

In the south aisle is a fine monument to Lord and 
\j\dy Dacre, dated 1594. It was this Lady Dacre 
who erected the almshouses in Westminster which 
bore her name.* She was sister to Thomas Sack- 
ville, Earl of Dorset, the poet. In the north aisle 
is the monument of Lady Jane Cheyne, daughter 
of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, and 
wife of Charles Cheyne, after whom Cheyne Row 
is named. The monument is the work of Bernini, 
and is said to have cost ;!^5oo. Here is buried 
Adam Littleton, Prebendary of Westminster and 
Rector of Chelsea, the author of a once celebrated 
Latin Dictionary. He was at one time "usher" 
of Westminster School ; and after the Restoration 

he took pupils at Chelsea. He wrote the preface 
to Cicero's Works, as edited by Gale, and was a 
perfect master of the Latin style. Collier says of him 
that his erudition gained for him the title of " the 
Great Dictator of Learning." In the churchyard 
is a monument to Sir Hans Sloane, the physician. 
It consists of an inscribed pedestal, upon which 
is placed a large vase of Avhite marble, entwined 
with serpents, and the whole is surmounted by a 
portico supported by four pillars. 

In the old burial-ground lie Andrew Millar, the 
eminent London bookseller, and John B. Cipriani, 
one of the earliest members of the Royal Academy.f 

The new church of St. Luke, situated between 
King's Road and Fulham Road, was built by James 
Savage, in 1820, in imitation of the style of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and has a pinna- 
cled tower, nearly 150 feet high. It is, however, 
a poor specimen of modern Gothic. The most 
remarkable feature of the building is the roof of 
the nave, which is vaulted with stone, with a clear 
height of si.xty feet from the pavement to the crown 
of the vault. The porch e.xtends the whole width 
of the west front, and is divided by piers and arches 
into five bays, the central one of which forms the 
lower storey of the tower. The large east window is 
filled with stained glass, and beneath it is a fine 
altar-screen of antique design. Immediately over 
the altar is a painting, " The Entombing of Christ," 
said to be by Northcote. The church will seat 
about 2,000 persons, and was erected at a cost of 
about ^40,000 — the first stone being laid by the 
Duke of Wellington. The first two rectors of the 
new church were Dr. Gerard V. Wellesley (whose 
name is still retained in Wellesley Street), brother 
of the Duke of Wellington, and the Rev. Charles 
Kingsley,fathcr of Charles Kingsley, Canon of West- 
minster, and author of "Alton Locke," &c. 


CHELSEA {continufd). 

" Then, farewell, my trim-built wherry ; 
O irs, and coat, and badge, farewell -■' 
Never more at Chelsea Ferry 

Shall your Thomas take a spell." — Dibdin, 

Cheyne Walk— An Eccentric Miser— Domlnicetti, an Italian Quack— Don Saltero's Coffee House and Museum — Catalogue of Rarities m tke 
Museum — Thomas Carlyle — Chelsea Embankment— Albert Bridge — The Mulberrj- Garden— The "Swan" Inn — The Rowing Matches for 
Doggett's Coat and Badge— The Botanic Gardens— The Old Bunhouse. 

Visitors to Chelsea by water, landing at the 
Cadogan Pier, will not fail to be struck by the 
antique appearance of the long terrace of houses 

• See Vol. IV., p. 12. 

stretching away eastward, overlooking the river, 
and screened by a row of trees. This is Cheyne 
Walk, so named after Lord Cheyne, who owned the 

t See Faulkner's "History of Chelsea," vol. ii., p 38. 




manor of Chelsea near the close of the seventeenth 
century. The houses are mostly of dark-red brick, 
with heavy window-frames, and they have about 
them altogether an old-fashioned look, such as we 
are accustomed to find in buildings of the time of 
Queen Anne. The place, from its air of repose 

of the same for her sole use and benefit, and that 
of her heirs." He was buried at North Marston, 
near Aylesbury, where he held a landed propert}', 
and where the Queen ordered a painted window 
to be put up to his memory. A sketch of the 
career of this modern rival of John Elwes will 


and seclusion, has always reckoned among its in- 
habitants a large number of successful artists and 
literary celebrities. 

Here, in a large house very scantily furnished, 
lived during the latter portion of his existence — 
we can scarcely call it life — Mr. John Camden 
Neild, the eccentric miser, who, at his decease 
in August, 1852, left his scrapings and savings, 
amounting to half a million sterling, to the Queen, 
" begging Her Majesty's most gracious acceptance 

be found in Chambers' " Book of Days." Here, 
too, lived Dominicetti, an Italian quack, who 
made a great noise in his day by the introduc- 
tion of medicated baths, which he established in 
Cheyne Walk, in 1765. It is thus immortalised 
in Boswell's "Life of Johnson:" — "There was a 
pretty large circle this evening. Dr. Johnson was 
in very good humour, lively, and ready to talk upon 
all subjects. Dominicetti being mentioned, he 
would not allow him any merit. ' There is nothing 

Chelsea. ] 



in all this boasted system. No, sir; medicated 
baths can be no better than warm water; their 
only effect can be that of tepid moisture.' One of 
the company took the other side, maintaining that 
medicines of various sorts, and some, too, of most 
powerful effect, are introduced into the human 

fumigated ; but be S':re that the steam be directed 
to thy head, for that is the peccant part: This 
produced a triumphant roar of laughter from the 
motley assembly of philosophers, printers, and de- 
pendents, male and female." Dominicetti is said to 
have had under his care upwards of 16,000 persons, 

carlvle's house, great chlvxe kow. 

frame by the medium of the pores ; and therefore, 
when warm water is impregnated with salutiferous 
substances, it may produce great effects as a bath. 
The Doctor, determined to be master of the field, 
had recourse to the device which Goldsmith im- 
puted to him in the witty words of one of Gibber's 
comedies, ' There is no arguing with Johnson ; for 
when his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down 
with the butt-end of it.' He turned to the gentle- 
man : * Well, sir, go to Dominicetti, and get thyself 

including Edward, Duke of York. He spent some 
;!^3 7,000 on his establishment, but became bank- 
rupt in 1782, when he disappeared. 

In the middle of Gheyne AValk is, or was till 
recently (for it was doomed to destruction in 1866), 
the house known to readers of anecdote biography 
as "Don Saltero's Goffee House," celebrated not 
only as a place of entertainment, but also as a 
repository of natural and other curiosities. John 
Salter, its founder, was an old and trusty servant of 



; Chelsea. 

Sir Hans Sloane, who, from time to time, gave him 
all sorts of cariosities. With these he adorned 
the house, which he opened as a suburban coffee- 
house, about the year 1690. The earliest notice of 
Salter's Museum is to be found in the thirty-fourth 
number of the Tatler, published in June, 1709, in 
which its owner figures as "Don Saltero/' and 
several of its curious contents are specified by the 
writer, Sir Richard Steele. Beside the donations 
of Sir Hans Sloane, at the head of the " Complete 
List of Benefactors to Don Saltero's Coffee-room 
of Curiosities," printed in 1739, figure the names of 
Sir John Cope, Baronet, and his son, " the first 
generous benefactors." There is an account of the 
exhibition in the GentleimvCs Magazine for 1799, 
where it is stated that Rear-Admiral Sir John 
Munden, and other officers who had been much 
upon the coasts of Spain, enriched it with many 
curiosities, and gave its owner the name of " Don 
Saltero ; " but the list of donors does not include 
the admiral, though the name of " Mr. Munden" 
occurs in the list subjoined to the nineteenth 
.edition of the catalogue. The title by which 
Salter was so well known in his own day may be 
accounted for even at this distance of time by the 
notice of him and his collection, as immortalised in 
the pages of Sir Richard Steele. " When I came 
into the coffee-house," he says, " I had not time to 
salute the company before my eye was diverted by 
ten thousand gimcracks, round the room and on 
the ceiling." The Don was famous for his punch, 
and his skill on the fiddle. " Indeed," says Steele, 
" I think he does play the ' Merry Christ-Church 
Bells ' pretty justly ; but he confessed to me he did 
it rather to show he was orthodox than that he 
valued himself upon the music itself." This de- 
scription is probably faithful, as well as humorous, 
since he continues, " When my first astonishment 
was over, there comes to me a sage, of a thin 
and meagre countenance, which aspect made me 
doubtful whether reading or fretting had made it so 

In the Weekhj y^w;-;/^/ of Saturday, June 22nd, 
1723, we read the following poetical announce- 
ment of the treasures to be seen at this coffee-house, 
which may be regarded as authentic and literally 
true, since it is sanctioned by the signature of the 
proprietor himself : — 


Fifty yeais since to Chelsea great, 

From Rodman, on the Irish main, 
I strolled, with maggots in my pate, 

Where, mucli improved, they still remain. 

" Through various employs I've passed— 
A scraper, virtuoso, projector, 

Tooth-drawer, trimmer, and at last, 
I'm now a gimcrack whim collector. 

" Monsters of all sorts here are seen, 

Strange things in nature as they grow so. 
Some relicks of the Sheba queen. 

And fragments of the famed Bob Crusoe. 

" Knicknacks, too, dangle round the wall, 
Some in glass cases, some on shelf ; 
But what's the rarest sight of all. 
Your humble servant shows himself. 

" On this my chiefest hope depends — 
Now if you will my cause espouse. 
In journals pray dii-ect your friends 
To my Museum Coffee-house ; 

" And, in requital for the timely favour, 
I'll gratis bleed, draw teeth, and be your shaver: 
Nay, that your pate may with my noddle tally. 
And you shine bright as I do — marry ! shall ye 
Freely consult your revelation, Molly ; 
Nor shall one je.alous thought create a huff. 
For she has taught me manners long enough." 

^, _, , ^ , ^ „ "Don Saltero. 

" Chelsea Knackatory. 

The date of Salter's death does not appear to be 
known precisely, but the museum was continued 
by his daughter, a Mrs. Hall, until about the ac- 
cession of George III. We know little of the 
subsequent history of the house until January, 
1799, when the whole place, with the museum of 
curiosities, was sold by auction by Mr. Harwood. 
They are described in the catalogue as follows : — 
" A substantial and well-erected dwelling-house 
and premises, delightfully situate, facing the river 
Thames, commanding beautiful views of the Surrey 
hills and the adjacent country, in excellent repair, 
held for a term of thirty-nine years from Christmas 
last, at a ground-rent of ^^3 los. per annum. 
Also the valuable collection of curiosities, com- 
prising a curious model of cur Saviour's sepulchre, 
a Roman bishop's crosier, antique coins and medals, 
minerals, fossils, antique fire-arms, curious birds, 
fishes, and other productions of nature, and a large 
collection of various antiquities and curiosities, 
glass-cases, &c. N.B. The curiosities will be 
sold the last day. May be viewed six days pre- 
ceding the sale. Catalogues at sixpence each." 
The number of lots was a hundred and twenty-one ; 
and the entire produce of the sale appears to have 
been little more than ;2^5o. The highest price 
given for a single lot was jQ\ i6s. — lot 98, con- 
sisting of "a very curious model of our Blessed 
Saviour's sepulchre at Jerusalem, very neatly inlaid 
with mother of pearl." 

" It is not improbable," writes Mr. Smith in his 
" Historical and Literary Curiosities," " that this 
very celebrated collection was not preserved either 
entire or genuine until the time of its dispersion ; 




since the gift of John Pennant, of Chelsea, the 
great-uncle of Thomas Pennant, the topographical 
writer, appears to have been wanting in the fort>'- 
seventh edition of the catalogue of the museum. 
This donation consisted of a part of a root of a tree, 
shaped like a swine, and sometimes called * a 
lignified hog;' but the several editions of the cata- 
logue differ considerably in the insertion or omission 
of various articles. The exhibition was contained 
chiefly in glass cases ranged on the tables, placed in 
the front room of the first floor of the building ; but 
the walls also were covered with curiosities, and the 
entrance passage displayed an alligator suspended 
from the ceiling, with a variety of ancient and 
foreign weapons hung at the sides." 

Perhaps, however, the most novel and interesting 
particulars which can now be given concerning 
tliis museum may be gleaned from the " Exhibition 
Catalogue " itself, which shows that it consisted 
rather of strange and wonderful, than of really 
valuable specimens. The title is " A Catalogue of 
Rarities, to be seen at Don Salter's Cofiee-house in 
Chelsea ; to which is added a complete list of the 
donors thereof Price 2d. 

" ' O Rare ! ' " 

In the y^rsf g/ass were contained the model of 
the holy sepulchre, and a variety of curiosities of 
a similar character : such as " painted ribbands 
from Jerusalem, \vith a pillar to which our Saviour 
was tied wlien scourged, with a motto on each ; " 
"boxes of relicks from Jerusalem;" "a piece of a 
saint's bone in nun's work ; " several pieces of the 
holy cross in a frame, glazed ; a rose of Jericho ; 
dice of the Knights Templars ; an Israelitish shekel ; 
and the Lord's Prayer in an ivory frame, glazed. 
There were also several specimens of carving on 
cherry-stones, representing the heads of the four 
Evangelists and effigies of saints ; with some cups 
and baskets made out of the same minute materials. 
The same case also contained a number of fine 
coins and medals, both British and foreign, and "a 
model of Governor Pitt's great diamond," which 
was taken out of the sale. There were also a few 
natural curiosities, as " a bone of an angel-fish ; a 
sea-horse ; a petrified crab from China ; a small 
pair of horns, and several legs of guinea-deer; a 
handkerchief made of the asbestus rock, which fire 
cannot consume ; a piece of rotten wood not to be 
consumed by fire ; the rattle of a rattlesnake with 
twenty-seven joints ; a large worm that eats into 
the keels of ships in the West Indies ; serpents' 
tongues ; the bark of a tree, which when drawn out 
appears like fine lace ; a salamander ; a fairy's or 
elf's arrow ; a little skull, very curious." The most 

remarkable artificial rarities contained in the second- 
glass were *' a piece of Solomon's temple ; Queen 
Katherine's wedding shoes ; King Charles the 
Second's band which he wore in disguise ; and a 
piece of a coat of mail one hundred and fifty times 
doubled." Of foreign productions this case con- 
tained " a Turkish almanack ; a book in Chinese 
characters ; letters in the Malabar language ; the 
effigies and hand of an Egyptian mummy ; forty- 
eight cups, one in another ; and an Indian hatchet 
used by them before iron was invented." The 
natural curiosities included " a little whale ; a giants 
tooth ; a curious ball of fish-bones found near 
Plymouth ; Job's tears that grow on a tree, where- 
with they make anodyne necklaces ; a nut of the 
sand-box tree ; several petrified plumes and olives j 
a young frog in a tobacco-stopper ; and a piece of 
the caul of an elephant." The third glass comprised 
" black and white scorpions ; animals in embryo ; 
the worm that eats into the piles in Holland ; the 
tarantula ; a nest of snakes ; the horns of a sham- 
way ; the back-bone of a rattlesnake." 

The fourth glass consisted of artificial curiosities, 
and included " a nun's whip ; a pair of garters from 
South Carolina; a Chinese dodgin, which they 
weigh their gold in ; a little Sultaness ; an Indian 
spoon of equal weight with gold ; a Chinese nun, 
very curious; Dr. Durham's paper made of nettles." 
The Jifth glass contained " a Muscovy snuff-box, 
made of an elk's hoof; a humming-bird's nest, 
with two young ones in it ; a starved swallow ; the 
head of an Egyptian ; a lock of hair of a Goa 
goat ; belts of wampum ; Indian money ; the fruit 
of the horn-tree." 

The following curiosities were also disposed in 
various parts of the coffee-room, with many others 
less remarkable in their names and appearance — 
" King James's coronation sword ; King William's 
coronation sword and shoes ; Henry VIII. 's coat 
of mail, gloves, and spurs ; Queen Elizabeth's 
Prayer-book, stimip, and strawberry dish ; tlie 
Pope's infallible candle ; a set of beads, consecrated 
by Clement VII., made of the bones of St. Anthony 
of Padua ; a piece of the royal oak ; a petrified 
child, or the figure of death ; a curious piece of 
metal, found in the ruins of Troy ; a pair of Saxon 
stockings ; William the Conqueror's family sword ; 
Oliver's broad-sword; the King of Whiddaw's staff; 
Bistreanier's staff; a wooden shoe, put under the 
Speaker's chair in James II.'s time; the Emperor 
of Morocco's tobacco pipe; a curious flea-trap; 
an Indian prince's crown ; a starved cat, found 
between the walls of Westminster Abbey when the 
east end was repaired ; the jaws of a wild boar that 
was starved to death by his tusks growing inward ; 




a frog, fifteen inches long, found in the Isle of 
Dogs ; the Staffordshire almanack, used when the 
Danes were in England ; the lance of Captain Tow- 
How-Sham, king of the Darien Indians, with which 
he killed six Spaniards, and took a tooth out of 
each head, and put in his lance as a trophy of his 
valour ; a coffin of state for a friar's bones ; a cock- 
atrice serpent ; a large snake, seventeen feet long, 
taken in a pigeon-house in Sumatra — it had in its 
belly fifteen fowls and five pigeons ; a dolphin with 
a flying-fish at his mouth ; a gargulet, that Indians 
used to cool their water with ; a whistling arrow, 
which the Indians use when they would treat of 
peace ; a negro boy's cap, made of a rat-skin ; 
Mary Queen of Scots' pin-cushion ; a purse made 
of a spider from Antigua ; manna from Canaan ; a 
jaw of a skate, with 500 teeth ; the mermaid fish ; 
the wild man of the woods ; the flying bull's head ; 
and, last of all, a snake's skin, ten feet and a ha'f 
long — a most excellent hydrometer." 

It may be added that, if we may believe Pennant, 
the ex-Protector, Richard Cromwell, was one of the 
regular visitors at Don Saltero's coffee-house in its 
earliest days. The place was one of the exhibitions 
which Benjamin Franklin went to see when working 
as a journeyman printer in London ; and it is on 
record how that after leaving the house one day he 
swam from Chelsea to Blackfriars, performing sundry 
feats in the water as he went along. 

At No. 5, Great Cheyne Row, an old-fashioned 
red-brick house, has lived for many years Thomas 
Carlyle, who has so far identified himself with this 
neighbourhood as to be known to the world in 
common parlance as " The Philosopher of Chelsea." 
Not far from his house a new square named after 
him bears witness to the fact that his worth is 
known and appreciated in his new country. The 
house and the habits of its tenant are thus de- 
scribed by a writer who calls himself " Quiz," in 
the JVesf Middlesex Advertiser : — 

" The house tenanted by Carlyle has on its front 
an appearance of antiquity, which would lead us to 
ascribe it to the days of Queen Anne. In one of 
his later pamphlets, ' Shooting Niagara,' associated 
with a hit at modern brick-makers and brick-layers, 
Carlyle has an allusion to the wall at the end 
(' head,' as he writes) of his garden, made of bricks 
burnt in the reign of Henry VIII., and still quite 
sound, whereas bricks of London manufacture in 
our day are used up in about sixty years. This 
wall was, of course, the boundary wall of the old 
park or garden belonging to Chelsea Manor-house. 
But this remark only comes incidentally, and we 
know scarcely anything about Carlyle's house and 
its belongings from himself. Other people have 

reported a variety of particulars, not to be credited 
without large deductions, concerning his home and 
personal habits. Thus, an American divine, giving 
an account of an interview he had with the Chelsea 
sage, indulges in minutise such as the follov/ing : — 
' We were sho\\'n into a plainly-furnished room, 
on whose walls hung a rugged portrait of Oliver 
Cromwell. Presently an old man, apparently over 
threescore years and ten, walked very slowly into 
the room. He was attired in a long blue woollen 
gown, reaching down to his feet. His grey hair 
was in an uncombed mop on his head. His clear 
blue eye was sharp and piercing. A bright tinge 
of red was on his thin cheek, and his hand 
trembled as he took our own. This most singular- 
looking personage reminded us of an old alchemist, 
&c.' Much in the Yankee mannerism, certainly, 
yet it comes as a slight retribution, that one who 
has been so hard on America should be commented 
on in true Yankee fashion. Others have given us 
accounts of rooms in the house heaped up witii 
books, not at all marshalled in the regular order 
we should have expected, when they belonged to 
a man so fond of the drill-sergeant. One corre- 
spondent of a London paper tells us of a collection 
of portraits of great men, gathered by degrees from 
picture-galleries, shops, and book-stalls. As it is 
rumoured, the contrivances resorted to by some of 
Carlyle's admirers, at the period of life when most 
of us are inclined to be enthusiastic in our likings, 
with the intent of seeing the interior of his house, 
or coming into personal communication with him, 
have been both ingenious and ludicrous. Some 
have, it is said, called at his house, and inquired 
for an imaginary Jones or Smith, in the hope that 
they might catch a glimpse at the interior, or see 
the man himself in the background. Possibly, 
there have been those who have made friends with 
the ' dustmen,' so that they may glean up some 
scraps of MSS. from the miscellaneous contents 
of his waste-basket. I have not heard, though, 
whether any one ever went so fi^r as to assume 
the garb of a policeman, to ensnare the aftections 
of some damsel at 5, Great Cheyne Row, and in 
this way make discoveries about the philosopher's 
personal habits. 

" Mr. J. C. Hotten, in some notes on Carlyle, 
states that 'he always walks at night, carrying an 
enorm.ous stick, and generally with his eyes on the 
ground.' This is an exaggeration of the stick, and 
so far from being only out at night, those accus- 
tomed to be in the streets of Chelsea know that 
Carlyle has, for years past, taken a stroll in all 
weathers in the morning, and in the afternoon he 
is frequently to be seen wending his way towards 




St. James's Park. Hence certain persons have 
waylaid him in these walks from curiosity, the 
Chelsea sage himself being supremely unconscious 
of being watched. He has been seen to conduct a 
bhnd man over a crossing, the person being neces- 
sarily ignorant as to who was showing him a kind- 
ness, and a little knot of human beings will touch 
his sympathies, and cause him to pause. I saw 
Carlyle once step up to a shop-window, around 
which several individuals stood looking at some- 
thing. This something was a new portrait of him- 
self, as he quickly perceived ; but before they were 
awake to the fact that the original was close by, 
he had moved off, giving his stick a rather con- 
temptuous twirl." 

The connection of Thomas Carlyle with Chelsea 
is, at all events, of upwards of forty years' duration, 
as he was a resident there in the early part of 
1834; two years previously, when in London, he 
^isited Leigh Hunt, who at that time lived close 
to Cheyne Row ; and, j^robably, it was at that time 
that he resolved to make it his fixed abode. The 
two writers were neighbours here until 1 840, when 
Leigh Hunt removed to Kensington, which he has 
immortalised under the title of the " Old Court 
Suburb ; " and their friendship continued until 
Hunt's death. 

At Chelsea, it is almost needless to add, Carlyle 
wrote his history of "The French Revolution," 
" Past and Present," his " Life of John Stirling," 
" Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches,'' and 
his " Life of Frederick the Great ;" in fact, nearly 
all the works which have made his name famous 
through the world. 

His wife died at Chelsea suddenly in April, 1S66, 
just as she heard of the delivery of his inaugural 
address as Lord Rector of Edinburgh University. 
She left a work unfinished. Charles Dickens ad- 
mired her literary talents very much. He writes 
to his friend Forster : " It was a terrible shock to 
me, and poor dear Carlyle has been in my mind 
ever since. How often have I thought of the un- 
finished novel ! No one now to finish it. None of 
the writing women come near her at all." Mr. 
Forster adds : " No one could doubt this who had 
come within the fascinating influence of that sweet 
and noble nature, ^^'ith some of the highest gifts of 
intellect, and the charm of a most varied knowledge 
of books and things, there was something beyond. 
No one who knew Mrs. Carlyle could replace her 
loss when she had passed away." 

On the 4th of December, 1S75, Thomas Car- 
lyle completed his eightieth year (having been born 
i^^ ^795) in the once obscure village of Ecclefechan, 
in Scotland), on which occasion he received con- 

gratulations from a number of the chief litterateurs 
of Germany, and also a present of a gold medal, 
struck in honour of the day, from a number of 
English friends and admirers, who addressed him 
as " a teacher whose genius and literary achieve- 
ments have lent radiance to his time."' 

Sir John Goss, who was many years organist at 
St. Paul's Cathedral, was for some time a resident 
in Cheyne Row. 

The embankment facing Cheyne Walk, extending 
from Battersea Bridge, close by old Chelsea Church, 
to the grounds of Chelsea Hospital, a distance of 
nearly a mile, presents a pleasing contrast to the 
red-bricked houses of which we have been speaking. 
Although the proposition to embank the northern 
shore of the Thames between Chelsea Hospital 
and Battersea Bridge was first made by the Com- 
missioners of Her Majesty's Woods and Forests 
in 1839, the practical execution of the idea was 
not commenced even on a small scale until some 
twenty years afterwards. These works originally 
formed a portion of a scheme for which the Com- 
missioners of ^Voods and Forests obtained an 
Act of Parliament in 1S46, and which embodied 
the formation of an embankment and roadway 
between Vau.xhall and Battersea bridges, and the 
construction of a suspension bridge at Chelsea. 
The funds which it was estimated would be required 
were procured, but they proved insufficient for the 
whole of the work, the bridge costing more than 
was anticipated. A narrow embankment and road- 
way were therefore constructed as far as the 
western end of the Chelsea Hospital gardens, where 
they terminated in a cul de sac. In time, however, 
the necessity arose for making a sewer to intercept 
the sewage of the district west of Cremorne, and to 
help it on its way to Barking. But there was no 
good thoroughfare from Cremorne eastwards along 
which to construct it ; so it was proposed to form a 
route for the sewer, and at the same time to com- 
plete an unfinished work by continuing tlie em- 
bankment and road on to Battersea. Application 
was made to Government for the return of ^,^38, 150, 
a sum which remained unexpended from the 
amount originally raised for the bridge and embank- 
ment, and which would have assisted in the prose- 
cution of the new work. The application, however, 
was unsuccessful, and Sir ^^'illiam Tite, who from 
the first took a very active interest in the matter, 
appealed to the Metropolitan Board of Works to 
undertake the work independently of Government 
assistance. The Board, therefore, made several 
applications to Parliament for an Act, v.-hich they 
succeeded in obtaining in 1868. The designs for 
the embankment, roadv>-ay, and sewer were at once 




prepared by Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Bazalgette, 
the engineer to the Board, and the whole work was 
completed and opened to the public in 1874. 

At its commencement by Battersea Bridge very 
little land has been reclaimed from the Thames; 
but one alteration is worthy of mention — the old 
awkward way down to the steamboat pier under 
the archway of a private house has been cleared 
awav, and the pontoon, moored close to the wall, is 

and the granite wall. This garden extends nearly 
to Oakley Street, which the road rises gradually to 
meet, while the path falls slightly in order to pass 
under the shore end of the new Albert Bridge. 
There is another pretty little piece of garden at 
this part of the route. After this the reclaimed 
land becomes of yet greater extent as Cheyne Row 
is reached. From this spot the Embankment and 
its surroundings can be seen to the best advaii- 


reached by a bridge resting in an opening in the 
granite. An old block of houses, too, which stood 
between this spot and Chelsea Church has been 
entirely removed. They formed a narrow quaint- 
looking old thoroughfare, called Lombard Street, 
one part of which was spanned by the upper rooms 
of an old house. The backs of one side of this 
thoroughfare overlooked, and here and there over- 
hung, the river; but they have all been cleared 
away, and the narrow street converted into a broad 
one, so that one side of it faces the river. After 
passing the church the road widens out, and as the 
space between the houses and the embankment 
wall becomes greater, a piece of land has been laid 
out as a garden, so that there are two roads, one in 
front of the shops, the other between the garden 

tage. The rough hammer-dressed granite wall runs 
in a straight line from here to where it meets the 
old roadway formed by the Office of Woods and 
Forests. In the ground beneath the pavement 
have been planted trees on both sides of the road, 
similar to those planted on the Victoria Embank- 
ment. . But nothing adds so much to the pic- 
turesqueness of this part of the Thames-side road- 
way, and helps to relieve the appearance of newness 
which is so marked a feature in the Victoria Em- 
bankment, as the line of old trees planted on what 
was formerly the edge of the river, with the back- 
ground formed by a fine old row of private houses. 
The trees are now in the garden divided by a 
gravel walk, which fills up the space between the 
two roadways. At the end of Cheyne Walk the 




Queen's Road brandies off to the left, and runs 
into the bottom of Lower Sloane Street. At the 
junction of two roads, but where was formerly the 
diverging point of one from the river-side, stood 
the " Swan " tavern, famous as the goal of many 
a hotly-contested aquatic race from its namesake 
near London Bridsfe. Not far from this time- 

his diary that he saw " at Mr. Gate's a sample of 
the satin made at Chelsea of English silkworms for 
the Princess of Wales, very rich and beautiful." 
But it has long disappeared, owing to the steady 
progress of bricks and mortar. 

As late as 1824, there was to be seen near 
Chelsea Bridge a sign of " The Cricketers," painted 


honoured inn are the Botanical Gardens of the 
Society of Apothecaries. 

The Albert Bridge, opposite Oakley Street, con- 
structed upon the suspension principle, was opened 
in 1873 ; it forms a useful communication between 
Chelsea and Battersea Park. Cadogan Pier, close 
to the bridge, serves as a landing-place for pas- 
sengers on the river steamboats. 

Near the river and Cheyne Walk was a large 
mulberry-garden, one of those established in the 
suburbs of London by order of James I., about the 
year 16 10. Thoresby, writing in 1723, tells us in 

by George Morland. "At the above date," says 
Mr. Larwood, " this painting by Morland had been 
removed inside the house, and a copy of it hung up 
for the sign. Unfortunately, however, the landlord 
used to travel about with the original, and put it 
up before his booth at Staines and Egham races, 
cricket matches, and similar occasions" — all of 
which removals, it may be presumed, did no great 
good to it. 

The " Old Swan " inn, which was the goal of 
Doggett's annual rowing match, stood on the east 
side of the Botanical Gardens, and was long since 




turned into a brewery, and the race, down to about 
the year 1873, ended at the new "Swan,"' higher 
up the river, as mentioned above. 

The " Swan,"' very naturally, was a favourite sign 
for inns by the waterside, and Mr. J. T. Smith, in 
his " Book for a Rainy Day,"' or rather a water- 
man who speaks in his pages, enumerates a goodly 
list of " Swans "' between London and Battersea 
bridges in 1829 :—'• "Why, let me see, master," he 
writes, "there's the 'Old Swan' at London Bridge 
— that's one; then there's the ' Swan' in Arundel 
Street — that's two ; then our's here " (at Hungerford 
Stairs), "three; the 'Swan' at Lambeth — that's down 
though. Well, then there's the 'Old Swan' at 
Chelsea, but that has been long turned into a brew- 
house; though that was where our people" (the 
watermen) "rowed to formerly, as mentioned in 
Doggett's will; now they row to the sign of the 
' New Swan ' beyond the Physic Garden— we'll say 
that's four. Then there's two ' Swans ' at Battersea 
— six.'"' 

We have already spoken at some length of 
Tom Doggett, the famous comedian,- and of the 
annual rowing match by Thames watermen for the 
honour of carrying off the "coat and badge," 
which, in pursuance of his will, have been com- 
peted for on the ist of August for the last 150 
years; suffice it to say, then, that in the year 
1873 the old familiar " Swan " inn was demolished 
to make room for the new embankment. The old 
"Swan" tavern enjoyed a fair share of public 
favour for many years. Pepys, in his " Diary," thus 
mentions it, under date April 9, 1666: — "By 
coach to Mrs. Pierce's, and with her and Knipp, 
and Mrs. Pierce's boy and girl abroad, thinking to 
have been merry at Chelsea; but being come 
almost to the house by coach, near the waterside, 
a house alone, I think the 'Swan,' a gentleman 
walking by called to us to tell us that the house 
was shut up because of the sickness. So we, with 
great affright, turned back, being holden to the 
gentleman, and went away (I, for my part, in great 
disorder) to Kensington." In 1780 the house was 
converted into the Swan Brewery ; and the landing 
of the victor in the aquatic contest thenceforth took 
place, as above stated, at a house bearing the same 
sign nearer to Cheyne Walk. Since the demo- 
lition of this house the race has been ended close 
to the spot where the old tavern stood. This 
rowing match— although not to be compared in any 
vv^ay to the great annual aquatic contest between 
the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge— occa- 
sions a very lively scene, the river being covered 

• See Vol. III., p. 30S. 

with boats, and the utmost anxiety evinced by the 
friends of the contending parties. In former times 
it was customary for the winner on his arrival to be 
saluted with shouts of applause by the surrounding 
spectators, and carried in triumph on the shoulders 
of his friends into the tavern. 

On a vacant space of ground in front of the 
Swan Brewery stood formerly a mansion, erected in 
the reign of Queen Anne, which was for many years 
inhabited by Mrs. Banks, the mother of Sir Joseph 

" The Physic Garden," to which we now come, 
was originated by Sir Hans Sloane, the celebrated 
physician, and was handed over in 1721 by him, 
by deed of gift, to the Apothecaries' Company, who 
still own and maintain it. The garden, which 
bears the name of the " Royal Botanic," was pre- 
sented to the above company on condition that it 
" should at all times be continued as a physic- 
garden, for the manifestation of the power, and 
wisdom, and goodness of God in creation; and 
that the apprentices might learn to distinguish good 
and useful plants from hurtful ones." Various ad- 
ditions have been made to the "Physic Garden" 
at different periods, in the way of greenhouses and 
hot-houses ; and in the centre of the principal walk 
was erected a statue of Sir Hans Sloane, by Michael 

"We visited," writes P. Wakefield in rS]4, "the 
' Physic or Botanic Garden,' commenced by the 
Company of Apothecaries in 1673, ^.nd patronised 
by Sir Hans Sloane, who granted the freehold of 
tli« premises to the company on condition that 
they should present annually to the Royal Society 
specimens of fifty new plants till their number 
should amount to two thousand. From a sense of 
gratitude they erected in the centre of the garden 
a marble statue of their benefactor. Above the 
spacious greenhouse is a library, furnished Avith a 
large collection of botanical works, and with nume- 
rous specimens of dried plants. We could not 
quit these gardens without admiring two cedars of 
great size and beauty." 

"At the time the garden was formed," vrrhes 
the author of "London Exhibited in 185 1," "it 
must have .stood entirely in the country, and had 
every chance of the plants in it maintaining a 
healthy state. Now, however, it is completely in 
the town, and but for its being on the side of the 
river, and lying open on that quarter, it would be 
altogether surrounded with common streets and 
houses. As it is, the appearance of the walls, grass, 
plants, and houses is very much that of most 
London gardens — dingy, smoky, and, as regards the 
plants, impoverished and starved. It is, however, 




interesting for its age, for the few old specimens it 
contains, for the medical plants, and, especially, 
because the houses are being gradually renovated, 
and collections of ornamental plants, as well as those 
which are useful in medicine, formed and cultivated 
on the best principles, under the curatorship of 
Mr. Thomas Moore, one of the editors of the 
* Gardener's Magazine of Botany.' " In spite of 
the disadvantages of its situation, here are still 
grown very many of the drugs which figure in the 
" London Pharmacopoeia." The two cedars of 
Lebanon, which have now reached the age of 
upwards of 150 years, are said to have been pre- 
sented to the garden by Sir Joseph Banks, the dis- 
tinguished naturalist, who here studied the first 
principles of botany. Of Sir Hans Sloane, and of 
his numerous public benefactions, we have already 
spoken in our account of the British Museum.* It 
only remains, therefore, to add that he was a con- 
tributor of natural specimens of rocks, from the 
Giant's Causeway, to Pope's Grotto at Twickenham; 
that he attended Queen Anne in her last illness at 
Kensington : and that he was the first member of 
the medical profession on whom a baronetcy was 

During the last century, and early in the present, 
a pleasant walk across green fields, intersected with 
hedges and ditches, led the pedestrian from West- 
minster and Millbank to "The Old Bun House" 
at Chelsea. This far-famed establishment, which 
possessed a sort of rival museum to Don Saltero's, 
stood at the end of Jew's Row (now Pimlico Road), 
not far from Grosvenor Row. The building was a 
one-storeyed structure, with a colonnade projecting 
over the foot pavement, and was demolished in 
1839, after having enjoyed the favour of the public 
for more than a century and a half Chelsea has 
been famed for its buns since the commencement 
of the last century. Swift, in his " Journal to 
Stella," 17 1 2, Avrites, "Pray are not the fine buns 
sold here in our town as the rare Chelsea buns ? I 
bought one to-day in my walk," &;c. It was for 
many years the custom of the Royal Family, and 
the nobility and gentry, to visit the Bun-house in 
the morning. George II., Queen Caroline, and the 
princesses frequently honoured the proprietor, Mrs. 
Hand, with their company, as did also George III. 
and Queen Charlotte ; and her Majesty presented 
Mrs. Hand with a silver half-gallon mug, with five 
guineas in it. On Good Friday mornings the Bun- 
house used to present a scene of great bustle — 
upwards of 50,000 persons have assembled here, 
when disturbances often arose among the London 

* See Vol. IV., p. 494. 

mob ; and in one day more than ;^2 5o have been 
taken for buns. 

The following cr-ious notice was issued on Wed- 
nesday, March 27th, 1793 • — "Royal Bun House, 
Chelsea, Good Friday. — No Cross Buns. !Mrs. 
Hand respectfully informs her friends and the 
public, that in consequence of the great concourse 
of people which assembled before her house at a 
very early hour, on the morning of Good Friday 
last, by which her neighbours (with whom she has 
always lived in friendship and repute) have been 
much alarmed and annoyed ; it having also been 
intimated, that to encourage or countenance a 
tumultuous assembly at this particular period might 
be attended A^nth consequences more serious than 
have hitherto been apprehended ; desirous, there- 
fore, of testifying her regard and obedience to 
those laws by which she is happily protected, she 
is determined, though much to her loss, not to sell 
Cross Buns on that day to any person whatever, 
but Chelsea buns as usual." 

The Bun-house was much frequented during the 
palmy days of Ranelagh, after the closing of wliich 
the bun trade declined. Notwithstanding this, on 
Good Friday, April iSth, 1S39, upwards of 24,000 
buns were sold here. Soon after, the Bun-house 
was sold and pulled down ; and at the same time 
was dispersed a collection of pictures, models, 
grotesque figures, and modern antiques, which had 
for a century added the attractions of a museum to 
the bun celebrity. Another bun-house Avas built 
in its place, but the olden charm of the place had 
fled, and Chelsea buns are now only matters of 

Sir Richard Phillips, in his " Morning's Walk 
from London to Kew," a few years before the 
demolition of the old Bun-house, after describing 
his ramble through Pimlico, writes : " I soon turned 
the corner of a street which took me out of sight 
of the space on which once stood the gay Ranelagh. 
. . . Before me appeared the shop so famed for 
Chelsea buns, which for above thirty years I have 
never passed without filling my pockets. In the 
original of these shops — for even of Chelsea buns 
there are counterfeits — are preserved mementoes of 
domestic events in the first half of the past century. 
The bottle-conjuror is exhibited in a toy of his 
own age ; portraits are also displayed of Duke 
William and other noted personages ; a model of a 
British soldier, in the stiff costume of the same age ; 
and some grotto-works, serve to indicate the taste 
of a former owner, and were, perhaps, intended to 
rival the neighbouring exhibition at Don Saltero's. 
These buns have afforded a competency, and even 
wealth, to four generations of the same family; 




and it is singular that their delicate flavour, light- 
ness, and richness, have never been successfully 

In the Mirror for April 6, 1839, are two views 
of the old Bun-house, which were taken just before 
its demolition. 

Chelsea would seem at one time to have enjoyed 
a reputation not only for buns, but for custards, if 
we rnay judge from the following allusion to them 
by Gay, in his " Trivia : " — 

" When W and G , mighty names, are dead, 

Or but at Chelsea under custards read." 

CHELSEA {continued).— THY. HOSPITAL, &c. 

"Go with old Thames, view Chelsea's glorious pile, 
And ask the shattered hero whence his smile." 

Rogers's "Pleasures of Metnory." 

Foundation of the Hospital— The Story of NellGwynne and the Wounded Soldier— Chelsea College— Archbishop Bancroft's Legacy— Transference 
of the College to the Royal Society— The Property sold to Sir Stephen Fox, and afterwards given as a Site for the Hospital— Lord 
Ran-'ngh's Mansion— Dr. Monsey— The Chudleigh Family— The Royal Hospital described- Lying in State of the Duke of Wellington- 
Regulations for the Admission of Pensioners— A few Veritable Centenarians— The " Snow Shoes " Tavern— The Duke of York's School— 
Ranelagli Gardens, and its Former Glories— The Victoria Hospital for Sick Children. 

On the west side of the Physic Garden, with its 
lawns and flower-beds stretching almost down to 
the river, stands a noble hospital, the counterpart 
of that at Greenwich, still providing an asylum for 
invalid soldiers — as its rival did, till recently, for 
sailors worn out in the service of their country. 

It is well known that the foundation of this 
splendid institution was the work of Charles II. 
John Evelyn has the following entry in his "Diary," 
under date 27th of January, 1682 : — "This evening 
Sir Stephen Fox acquainted me againe with his 
Majesty's resolution of proceeding in the erection 
of a royal hospital for merited soldiers, on that 
spot of ground which the Royal Society had sold to 
his Majesty for ;,£"i,3oo, and that he would settle 
;^5,ooo per annum on it, and build to the value of 
;^2o,ooo, for the reliefe and reception of four com- 
panies — viz., 400 men, to be as in a coUedge or 
monasterie." It appears that Evelyn was largely 
consulted by the king and Sir Stephen Fox as 
to the details of the new building, the growth of 
whose foundations and walls he watched constantly, 
as he tells us in his " Diary." 

It was not without a pang that the British public 
saw Greenwich " disestablished ; " and, observes a 
writer in the Times, " the parting with the wooden- 
legged veterans, in their antique garb, and with their 
garrulous prattle — too often, it is to be feared, 
apocryphal — about Nelson, Duncan, Jervis, and 
Collingwood, was like the parting from old friends. 
The associations connected with Chelsea Hospital," 
continues the writer, "possess nearly the same his- 
torical interest with those awakened by Greenwich. 
Both piles — although that upon the river-bank is by 
far the more splendid edifice — were built by Sir 

Christopher Wren. Chelsea has yet a stronger 
claim upon our sympathies, since, according to 
popular tradition, the first idea of converting it into 
an asylum for broken-down soldiers sprang from the 
charitable heart of Nell Gwynne, the frail actress, 
with whom, for all her frailties, the English people 
can never be angry. As the story goes, a wounded 
and destitute soldier hobbled up to Nellie's coach- 
window to ask alms, and the kind-hearted woman 
was so pained to see a man who had fought for his 
country begging his bread in the street that she 
prevailed on Charles II. to establish at Chelsea a 
permanent home for military invalids. We should 
hke to believe the story ; and, indeed, its veracity 
may not be incompatible with a far less pleasant 
report, that the second Charles made a remarkably 
good thing, in a pecuniary sense, out of Chelsea 

Before entering upon an account of Chelsea Hos- 
pital, it may be desirable to notice here a collegiate 
building, which formerly occupied the site of this 
great national edifice. This college was originated, 
soon after the commencement of the seventeenth 
century, by Dr. Matthew Sutclifie, Dean of Exeter, 
for the study of polemical divinity. King James I. 
laid the first stone of the edifice, in May, 1609, and 
bestowed on it the name of " King James's College at 
Chelsey." According to the Charter of Incorpora- 
tion, the number of members was limited to a 
provost and nineteen fellows, seventeen of whom 
were required to be in holy orders ; the other two 
might be either laymen or divines, and they were to 
be employed in recording the chief historical events 
of the era. Dr. Sutcliffe was himself the first 
provost, and Camden and Hayward were the first 




historians. Archbishop Laud called the institution 
"Controversy College; " and, according to " Alleyn's 
Life," "the Papists, in derision, gave it the name of 
an alehouse." 

It is, perhaps, worthy of a passing note that 
Archbishop Bancroft left the books which formed 
the nucleus of the library at Lambeth Palace, to 
his successors in the see of Canterbury, with the 
condition that if certain stipulations were not com- 
plied with, his legacy should go to Chelsea College, 
if built within six years of his own decease. 

From a print of the original design, prefixed 
to Barley's " Glory of Chelsey College new Re- 
vived," a copy of which is published in Faulkner's 
" History of Chelsea "), it would appear that the 
buildings were originally intended to combine two 
quadrangles, of different, but spacious, dimensions, 
with a piazza along the four sides of the smaller 
court. Only one side of the first quadrangle, 
however, was completed, and the whole collegiate 
establishment very soon collapsed. Evelyn tells 
us that the plan of Chelsea College embraced a 
quadrangle, with accommodation for 440 persons, 
" after the dimensions of the larger quadrangle at 
Christchurch, Oxford." Shortly after the death 
of the third provost. Dr. Slater, which occurred 
in 1645, s"^ts Vi-ere commenced in the Court of 
Chancery respecting the title to the ground on 
which the college stood, when it was decreed that 
Dr. Sutcliffe's estates should revert to his rightful 
heirs, upon their paying to the college a certain 
sum of money. The college buildings were after- 
wards devoted to various inappropriate purposes, 
being at one time used as a receptacle for prisoners 
of war, and at another as a riding-house. 

Its next destination would appear to have been 
of a higher order ; for it appears that the king gave 
it, or offered it, to the then newly-founded Royal 
Society. John Evelyn writes, in his " Diary,'" 
under date September 24th, 1667 :— "Returned to 
London, where I had orders to deliver the posses- 
sion of Chelsey Colledge (used as my prison during 
the warr with Holland, for such as were sent from 
the Fleete to London) to our Society [the Royal 
Society], as a gift of his Majesty, our founder." 
And again, under date September, 14th, 1681, 
Evelyn writes : — " Din'd with Sir Stephen Fox, 
who proposed to me the purchasing of Chelsey 
College, which his Majesty had some time since 
given to our Society, and would now purchase it 
again to build a hospital or infirmary for soldiers 
there, in which he desired my assistance, as one of 
the council of the Royal Society." 

On the failure of the college, the ground es- 
cheated to the Crown, by whom, as stated above, 

it was afterwards granted to the Royal Society. 
This body, in turn, sold th'e property to Sir Stephen 
Fox, for Charles II., who "generously gave" it 
as a site for a Royal Hospital for Aged and Dis- 
abled Soldiers, but at the same time pocketing Dr. 
Sutcliffe's endowment, a;nd leaving the building to 
be erected at the cost of the nation. 

On part of the site of the college Avas erected, 
towards the close of the seventeenth century, the 
mansion of the Earls of Ranelagh, whose name was 
perpetuated in that of the gardens which were 
ultimately opened to the public on that spot. 

We read in the Weekly Post, of 17 14, a rumour 
to the effect that " the Duke and Duchess of Marl- 
borough are to have the late Earl of Ranelagh's 
house at Chelsea College;" but the arrangement 
docs not appear to have been carried out, for in 
1730 an Act was passed, vesting the estates of the 
Earl of Ranelagh in trustees ; and a i^w years later 
the house and premises were sold in lots, and 
shortly afterwards opened as a place of public 
entertainment, of which we shall have more to say 
presently. Lord Ranelagh's house and gardens 
are thus described by Bowack, in 1705: — "The 
house, built with brick and cornered with stone, is 
not large, but very convenient, and may well be 
called a cabinet. It .stands a good distance from 
the Thames. In finishing the whole, his lordship 
has spared neither labour nor cost. The very 
greenhouses and stables, adorned with festoons and 
urns, have an air of grandeur not to be seen in 
many princes' palaces." 

Again, in Gibson's "View of the Gardens near 
London," published in 1691, these grounds are 
thus described : — " My Lord Ranelagh's garden 
being but lately made, the plants are but small, 
but the plats, border, and walks are curiously kept 
and elegantly designed, having the advantage of 
opening into Chelsea College walks. The kitclien- 
garden there lies very fine, with walks and seats ; 
one of which, being large and covered, was then 
under the hands of a curious painter. The house 
there is very fine within, all the rooms being wain- 
scoted with Norway oak, and all the chimneys 
adorned with carving, as in the council-chamber in 
Chelsea College." The staircase was painted by 
Noble, who died in 1700. 

A portion of the old college seems to have 
remained standing for many years, and ultimately 
to have become the residence of Dr. Messenger 
INIonsey, one of Dr. Johnson's literary acquaintances, 
and many years Physician to the Royal Hospital. 

From Boswell's " Life of Johnson" we learn that 
the character of Dr. Monsey, in point of natural 
humour, is thought to have borne a near resem- 




blance to that of Dean Swift, and like him, he too 
will be long remembered for the vivid powers of his 
mind and the marked peculiarity of his manners. 
" His classical abilities were indeed enviable, his 
memory throughout life was wonderfully retentive, 
and upon a variety of occasions enabled him, with 
an inexhaustible flow of words, to pour forth the 
treasures of erudition acquired by reading, study, 
and experience ; insomuch that he was truly allowed 

tration, the reversion of his place had been suc- 
cessively promised to several medical friends of the 
Paymaster-General of the Forces. Looking out of 
his window one day, and observing a gentleman 
below examining the college and gardens, who he 
knew had secured the reversion of his place, the 
doctor came down stairs, and going out to him, 
accosted him thus : — ' Well, sir, I see you are 
examining your house and gardens, that arc fj be, 

THE CHELSEA BUN-HOUSE, 1810. {Froiii Mr. Craces Collection. 

to be a storehouse of anecdote, a reservoir of 
curious narrative for all weathers ; the living 
chronicle, in short, of other times. The exuber- 
ance of his wit, which, like the web of life, was of 
a mingled yarn, often rendered his conversation 
exceedingly entertaining, sometimes indeed alarm- 
ingly offensive, and at other times pointedly 
pathetic and instructive ; for, at certain happy 
intervals, the doctor could lay aside Rabelais and 
Scanon to think deeply on the most important 
subjects, and to open a very serious vein." The 
following anecdote, told in Faulkner's " History of 
Chelsea," is very characteristic of the doctor's turn 
of temper, and is said to be well attested : — " He 
lived so long in his ofiice of Physician to Chelsea 
Hospital, that, during many changes of adminis- 

and I will assure you that they are both very 
pleasant and very convenient. But I must tell you 
one circumstance : you are the fifth man that has 
had the reversion of the place, and I have buried 
them all. And what is more,' continued he, look- 
ing very scientifically at him, ' there is something 
in your' face that tells me I shall bury you too.' 
The event justified the prediction, for the gentle- 
man died some years after; and what is more 
extraordinary, at the time of the doctor's death 
there was not a person who seems to have even 
solicited the promise of the reversion." 

Dr. Monsey's death is recorded as having taken 
[)lace in December, 178S, "at his apartments in 
Chelsea College," at the great age of ninety-five. 
Johnson, though he admired his intellect, disliked 









his private character; and Boswell quotes him, 
saying of old Dr. Monsey, of Chelsea College, that 
he was " a fellow who swore and talked indecently." 
Here, as Taylor tells us in his "Recollections," 
the Doctor " had a large box in his chamber, full of 
air-holes, for the purpose of carrying his body to 
liis friend, Mr. Forster, in case he should be in a 
trance when supposed to be dead. It was pro- 
vided with poles, like a sedan-chair. In his 
will, which is to be seen in the Gentleman's 
Magazine (vol. 50), he gave instructions that his 
body should not be buried with any funeral cere- 
mony, but be dissected, and then thrown into the 
Thames, or wherever the surgeon who operated 
might- please. "It is surprising," observes John 
Wilson Croker, " that this coarse and crazy hu- 
mourist should have been an intimate friend and 
favourite of the elegant and pious Mrs. Montagu." 
In all probability, however, he knew how to conduct 
himself in the presence of ladies and bishops, for 
Dr. Percy, the Bishop of Dromore, says that he 
never knew him guilty of the vices ascribed to him 
by Johnson. 

The Chudleighs, the father and mother of 
Elizabeth, Duchess of Kingston,* lived in the 
college, and the future duchess, as a girl, used to 
romp and play in its galleries and gardens. They 
were friends of Sir Robert Walpole, who resided at 
no great distance. 

Here died, in 1833, John Heriot, Comptroller of 
the Hospital. He was a native of Haddington, in 
Scotland, and wrote some novels. He was the 
first editor of the Sun, when that paper was started 
as an evening paper in the interest of Pitt's 
Administration, and it soon rose to 4,000 a day — a 
very large circulation for the time, considering the 
scarcity of educated readers and the heavy stamp- 
duty then imposed on newspapers. 

As we have already observed, a considerable 
part of the old college grounds, and probably part 
of the college itself, ultimately became the site of 
the Royal Hospital for Wounded and Superannuated 
Soldiers. Dr. Jortin, with his usual sprightliness, 
observed on this that, "with a very small and 
easy alteration it was made a receptacle of mainied 
and discarded soldiers. For if the king's project 
had been put into execution, the house would 
most probably have become a house of discord, 
and ' peace be within thy walls ' would have been 
a fruitless wish, and a prayer bestowed-jii ■ vain 
upon it." 

King Charles himself laid the first stone of the 
new building (which had been designed by Wren), 

♦ See Vol. III., p, sjB. 

in the presence of the chief nobility and gentry of 
the kingdom, and tlie whole structure was finished 
in 1690, at a cost, it is said, of ^150,000. The 
building is of red brick, with stone quoins, cornices, 
pediments, and columns ; and consists of three 
courts, two of which are spacious quadrangles ; the 
third, the central one, is open on the south side 
towards the river, and has its area laid out in 
gardens and walks. A Latin inscription on the 
frieze of the large quadrangle tells us that the 
building was founded by Charles II., augmented 
by James 11., and completed by William and Mary, 
for the aid and relief of soldiers worn out by old 
age or by the labours of war. In the central area 
is a bronze_statue of Charles II. in Roman imperial 
armour, supposed to be the work of Grinling 
Gibbons ; and in the grounds is a granite obelisk 
erected to the memory of the ofiicers and men 
who fell in the Indian campaigns. There is also 
here a statue, by Noble, to Sir J. McGrigor, the 
Physician-General to the army under Wellington 
in Spain. In the eastern and v/estern wings of this 
court are the wards of the pensioners; they are 
sixteen in number, and are both spacious and airy. 

At the extremity of the eastern wing is the 
governor's house. The ceiling of the principal 
room is divided into oblong compartments, appro- 
priately ornamented, and the walls are hung with 
several portraits of royalty, from the time of King 
Charles II. In the western wing are the apart- 
ments of the lieutenant-governor. 

The north front is of great extent, and faced by 
avenues of limes and chestnut-trees. In the centre 
of the structure is a handsome portico of the Doric 
order, surmounted by a lofty clock turret in the 
roof Beneath are the principal entrances. On 
the eastern side of the vestibule, a short flight of 
steps leads to the chapek This is a lofty apart- 
ment, with an arched ceiling ; it is rather over 100 
feet in length, by about thirty in width, and is 
paved with black and white marble. The pews 
for the various officers of the establishment are 
ranged along the sides, and the pensioners sit in the 
midvi'c on benches. Over the communion-table 
is a painting of the Ascension, by Sebastian Ricci. 
King James II. presented a handsome service of 
plate, an altar-cloth, pulpit-cloth, several velvet 
cushions, and four handsomelv-bound prayer-book;. 
From the walls on cither side of the chapel are 
suspended a large number of colours captured by 
the British army, including thirteen " eagles " cap- 
tured from the French at Barossa, Talavera, and 
Waterloo. The dining-hall is on the western side 
of the vestibule, and is of the same dimensioiis 
as the chapel. 

Chelsea. ] 



The furniture of this room is massive and simple. 
Above the doorway, at the eastern end, is a gallery ; 
the upper end is occupied by a large painting, 
which was presented by the Earl of Ranelagh. It 
was designed by Verrio, and finished by Henry 
Cooke, an artist who studied Salvator Rosa. The 
chief figure of the composition is King Charles II., 
mounted on a richly-caparisoned horse ; in the 
background is a perspective view of the Royal 
Hospital ; and fanciful representations of Hercules, 
Minerva, Peace, and " Father Thames," are intro- 
duced, by way of allegory. The sides of the hall 
are hung with numerous engravings of military 
subjects, and there is also a large painting of the 
Battle of Waterloo, and an allegorical picture of 
the victories of the Duke of Wellington, by James 
Ward, R.A. A dinner for the pensioners is regu- 
larly placed in this hall every day (with the ex- 
ception of Sunday), at twelve o'clock ; but they do 
not dine in public, as every man is allowed to take 
his meal in his own apartment in the wards. The 
hall serves also as a reading-room for the old 
pensioners, and here they are allowed to sit and 
smoke — -for they are allowed one penny a day for 
tobacco, which is called " Her Majesty's bounty " — 
and while away the time with card-playing and 
other amusements, and also with the perusal of 
books and newspapers. In this hall the remains of 
the "great" Duke of Wellington were deposited, in 
November, 1852, preparatory to the public funeral 
in St. Paul's Cathedral. Her Majesty, accompanied 
by Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and Princess 
Royal, visited Chelsea Hospital during part of the 
ceremony of lying in state ; afterwards the veterans 
of Chelsea were admitted ; on one day the ad- 
mission was restricted to those who were provided 
with tickets from the Lord Chamberlain's office ; 
and then, for four days, the public were admitted 
without tickets, when the crush was so great that 
several persons were killed in the attempt to gain 

The east, or " Light Horse " court, comprises the 
apartments of many official persons connected with 
the institution, such as the governor, the deputy- 
treasurer, secretary, chaplain, apothecary, comp- 
troller, steward, and other officials. The west court 
is partly occupied by the board-room, used by the 
commissioners for their meetings, and by the 
apartments of various officers connected with the 
establishment. Still further to the west is the 
stable-yard ; and, on the site of the mansion for- 
merly occupied by Sir Robert Walpole is the 
infirmary, wliich is admirably adapted for the 
patients admitted within its walls. 

Chelsea Hospital affords a refuge for upwards of 

500 inmates. The number of out-pensione»s, from 
whom they are selected, is about 64,000 ; and of 
these, on an average, nearly 8,000 are over seventy 
years of age. Here the veterans, whether wounded, 
disabled, or merely advanced in years, find a home, 
and for their accommodation, comfort, and medical 
treatment, a liberal provision is made. An applicant 
for admission must be on the permanent pension 
list, must be of good character, must have no wife 
or children dependent on him for support, and 
he must be incapable of supplementing his pension 
by labour. He must show that he has given good 
service " by flood and field." A monthly list of 
applications is kept, in the order in which they 
are received ; and at the end of the month the 
commissioners, having regard to the number of 
vacancies and the eligibility of the candidates, 
according to the terms of the Royal \Vanant of 
1862, sanction the selection and admission of the 
most meritorious. All the wants of the inmates are 
liberally provided for. Their clothing is certainly 
rather of an antique style ; but, nevertheless, it is 
picturesque. They wear long scarlet coats, lined 
with blue, and the original three-cornered cocked 
hat of the last century; but then, as the quarter- 
master once said to the War Office Committee, 
" they are old men." Their diet consists of beef 
on Sundays and mutton on week-days ; but, in 
order to break the monotony, at their own request, 
bacon has been substituted for mutton on one 
week-day. A pint of porter daily is the allowance 
for each man ; and there is a fund of about ^^540 a 
year, derived from private legacies, which is devoted 
to maintaining the library and providing extra per- 
sonal comforts and amusements. The pensioners 
are divided into six companies, the captains and 
other officers of each company being responsible 
for the cleanliness of the ward and the preservation 
of order. 

The expenditure of the hospital is chiefly met 
by an annual Parliamentary vote ; but the institution 
enjoys a small independent income from property 
and interest on unclaimed prize-money. With all 
this liberal provision, however, it appears, from the 
War Office Committee reports which have been 
published, that Chelsea Hospital is not popular 
with soldiers. The inmates, indeed, are contented ; 
but it is admitted that soldiers serving under the 
colours look forward to out-pensions at the close 
of their military career, and that the severance of 
home-ties, the monastic character of the institution, 
and a certain amount of disciplinary restraint, out- 
weigh the advantages of the hospital, except in the 
instance of men (perhaps who have earned only 
small pensions) aged, infirm, and helpless, without 




family or friends able and willing to support them. 
Even the very old prefer providing for themselves 
out of the hospital if they can ; there are only about 
230 men in the hospital over seventy — generally 
fewer than that. 

Adjoining the hospital is a burial-ground for the 
pensioners, wherein repose a few veritable cente- 
narians, if the records of their deaths are to be 
relied upon. Thomas Asbey, died 1737, aged 112 ; 
Robert Comming, died 1767, aged 116; Peter 
Bowling, died 1768, aged 102 ; a soldier who 
fought at the battle of the Boyne, died 1772, aged 
III ; and Peter Bennet, died 1773, aged 107. 

In' Pimlico Road — or, as it was formerly called, 
Jew's Row, or Royal Hospital Row — " there is," 
writes Larwood, in 1866, in his "History of Sign- 
boards," " a sign which greatly mystifies the maimed 
old heroes of Waterloo and the Peninsula, and 
many others besides. I refer to the 'Snow Shoes.' 
But this hostelry is historic in its origin. Its sign 
was set up during the excitement of the American 
War of Independence, when ' Snow Shoes' formed a 
leading article in the equipment of the troops sent 
out to figlit the battles of King George, against old 
Washington and his rebels." John Timbs, in his 
" Curiosities of London," says that the tradition 
of the foundation of the hospital being due to the 
influence of Nell Gwynne is kept in countenance 
by the head of that royal favourite having been for 
very many years the sign of a public-house in 
Grosvenor Row. INIore than one entry in Evelyn's 
"Diary," however, proves that Sir Stephen Fox 
"had not only the whole managing" of the plan, 
but was himself "a grand benefactor" to it. He 
was mainly advised by Evelyn, who arranged the 
offices, "would needes have a library, and men- 
tioned several bookes." 

North of the hospital is the Duke of York's 
School, or Royal Military Asylum. This institu- 
tion was founded by the late Duke of York, for the 
support and education of children of soldiers of the 
regular army, who remain there until of a suitable 
age, when they are apprenticed, or sent into service. 
The building is constructed chiefly of brick, with 
stone dressings and embellishments, and it com- 
prises three sides of a quadrangle. In the centre 
of the chief front is a stone portico of the Doric 
order ; four massive pillars support the pediment, 
the frieze of which is inscribed as follows — " The 
Royal Military Asylum for the Children of Soldiers 
of the Regular Army ; " and the whole is sur- 
mounted with the royal arms. In this part of tlie 
building are the dining-rooms and school-rooms for 
the children, and also bath-rooms and a committee- 
room. The north and south wings contain the 

dormitories for the boys and girls, and apartments 
for several officers of the establishment. In the 
front the ground is laid out in grass plats and 
gravel walks, and planted with trees ; attached to 
each wing is a spacious play-ground for exercise, 
with cloistral arcades for the protection of the 
children in inclement seasons. The affairs of the 
Royal Military Asylum are regulated by com- 
missioners appointed by the Government, who have 
to apply to Parliament for an annual grant for the 
support of the institution. The commissioners also 
have the selection of the children, whose admission 
is regulated in accordance with the following rules : 
— Orphans, or those whose fathers have been killed, 
or have died on foreign stations ; those who have 
lost their mothers, and whose fathers are absent on 
duty abroad ; those whose fathers are ordered on 
foreign service, or whose parents have other children 
to maintain." Tli^ children are supported, lodged, 
and educated, until they are of a suitable age to 
be disposed of as servants and apprentices. The 
boys tmdergo a regular military training ; and it 
is a pleasing sight to Avitness them going through 
their exercises, with their military band of juvenile 
performers. According to the original intention 
of the founders of this institution, the number M 
of children admitted into the asylum is not to 
exceed seven hundred boys and three hundred 
girls, exclusive of such as, on an exigency, may be 
admitted to the branch establishment in the Isle of 
Wight. The. boys are clothed in red jackets, blue 
breeches, blue stockings, and black caps ; and 
the girls in red gowns, blue petticoats, straw hats, 
&c. The latter are taught the ordinary branches 
of needlework and household work. 

A considerable part of the grounds lying imme- 
diately at the south-east corner of Chelsea Hospital 
once formed the site of Ranelagh Gardens, as we _« 
have already observed. " Ranelagh," writes Mr. fl 
Lambert, in his " History of London and its En- 
virons," published in 1806, " was the seat of an 
Irish nobleman of that title, in whose time the 
gardens were extensive. On his death the estate 
was sold, and the principal part of the gardens was 
converted into fields, though the house remained 
unaltered. Part of the gardens also was permitted 
to remain. Some gentlemen and builders having 
become the purchasers of these, a resolution was 
taken to convert them into a place of entertainment. 
Accordingly, Mr. William Jones, architect to the 
East India Company, drew the plan of the present 
Rotunda, which is an illustrious monument of his 
genius and fancy. The chief material employed 
was wood, and it was erected in 1740." He de- 
scribes it as "a noble edifice, somewhat resembling 





the Pantlieon at Rome, with a diameter externally 
of 185 feet, and internally of 150 feet. The en- 
trances," he adds, " are by four Doric porticoes 
opposite each other, and the first storey is rustic. 
Round the whole on the outside is a gallery, the 
stairs to which are at the porticoes ; and over- 
head is a slated covering which projects from the 
body of the Rotunda. Over the gallery are the 
windows, sixty in number, and over these the 
slated roof. The interior is elegantly decorated, 
and, v/he!i well illuminated and full of company, 
presents a most brilliant spectacle. Indeed, it 
may be said of Ranelagh that, as a public place of 
amusement, it is not to be equalled in Europe for 
beauty, elegance, and grandeur. Before the Act 
of Parliament passed in 1752, which prohibited 
all places of entertainment from being opened 
before a certain hour in the afternoon, the Rotunda 
was open every day for public breakfasts. It was 
not, however, a place of much note until it was 
honoured with the famous masquerades in the late 
reign, which brought it into vogue. But the immo- 
rality so frequently practised at masquerades has 
lessened their reputation, and they are not now 
attended, as formerly, by persons of rank and 
fashion. The entertainments consist of music and 
singing, and upon particular occasions fireworks 
also are exhibited ; and during the summer season 
the gardens may be seen in the day-time on pay- 
ment of a shilling. The price of admittance in the 
evening is half-a-crown, including tea and coftee, 
which are the only refreshments allowed ; but on 
extraordinary occasions the price is raised." 

Sir Richard Phillips, in his " Modern London," 
published in 1804, in noticing Ranelagh, writes: — 
'' This place is situated about two miles west of 
Tondon, in the village of Chelsea. It consists of 
a splendid Rotunda and gardens. The Rotunda 
itself, used as a promenade, is very spacious, and 
brilliantly illuminated, with a neat orchestra. The 
amusements of Ranelagh, generally speaking, are 
limited to miscellaneous performances, vocal and 
instrumental ; and in the gardens there are fire- 
works and illuminations. Masquerades are some- 
times given in a very good style ; but the genius of 
the English people seems not well calculated for 
this species of amusement. Ranelagh has lately 
been engaged by the ' Pic-Nic Society,' and it is 
supposed will be appropriated to their entertain- 

Besides the Rotunda there was a small Venetian 
pavilion in a lake, to which the company were rowed 
in boats, and the grounds were planted with trees. 
The decorations of the various buildings were 
designed by Capon, an eminent scene-painter. In 

each of the refreshment-boxes was a painting; 
in the centre of the Rotunda was a heating appa- 
ratus, concealed by arches, porticoes, and niches, 
paintings, &c. ; and supporting the ceiling, which 
was decorated with celestial figures, festoons of 
flowers, and arabesques, and lighted by circles of 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1742 is the 
following description of Ranelagh Gardens from 
a foreigner's point of view : — " I repaired to the 
rendezvous, which was the jxark adjoining to the 
Palace Royal, and which answers to our Tuilleries, 
where we sauntered, with a handful of fine company, 
till it was almost twilight — a time, I thought, not a 
little unseasonable for a tour into the country. We 
had no sooner quitted the park but we found our- 
selves in a road full of people, illuminated with 
lamps on each side ; the dust was the only incon- 
venience ; but in less than half an hour we found 
ourselves at a gate where money was demanded, 
and paid for our admittance ; and immediately my 
eyes were struck with a large building, of an or- 
bicular figure, with a row of windows round the attic 
storey, through which it seemed to be liberally 
illuminated within, and altogether presented to the 
eye such an image as a man of a whimsical imagina- 
tion would not scruple to call a giant's lanthorn. 
Into this enchanted palace we entered, with more 
haste than ceremony ; and at the first glance I, for 
my part, found myself dumb with surprise and 
astonishment, in the middle of a vast amphitheatre ; 
for structure, Roman ; for decorations of paint and 
gilding, gay as the Asiatic; four grand portals, in 
the manner of the ancient triumphal arches, and 
four times twelve boxes, in a double row, with suit- 
able pilasters between, form the whole interior of 
this wonderful fabric, save that in the middle a 
magnificent orchestra rises to the roof, from which 
descend several large branches, which contain a 
great number of candles enclosed in crystal glasses, 
at once to light and adorn this spacious Rotunda. 
Groups of well-dressed persons were dispersed in 
the boxes ; numbers covered the area ; all manner 
of refreshments were within call ; and music of all 
kinds echoed, though not intelligibly, from every 
one of those elegant retreats, where Pleasure seemed 
to beckon her wanton followers. I have acknow- 
ledged myself charmed at my entrance ; you will 
wonder, therefore, when I tell you that satiety fol- 
lowed. In five minutes I was familiar with the 
whole and every part ; in the five next indifterence 
took place ; in five more my eyes grew dazzled, my 
head became giddy, and all night I dreamed of 
Vanity Fair." 

The Rotunda was first opened with a public break- 




fast in April, 1742 ; and, for a short time, morning 
concerts were given, consisting of selections from 
oratorios. Walpole, in a letter to Sir Horace 
Mann, written during the next month, gives us the 
following particulars of this once famous place of 

years later we find the following record by the same 
gossiping chronicler : — " Every night constantly I 
go to Ranelagh, which has totally beat Vauxhall. 
Nobody goes anywhere else — everybody goes there. 
My Lord Chesterfield is so fond of it that he 

Ilanelai>h Houfe '7' A z/yrsfj^^f—MeKyi/js^ ail 1 


amusement : — " There is a vast amphitlieatre, finely 
gilt, painted, and illuminated, into which everybody 
that loves eating, drinking, staring, or crowding, is 
admitted for twelve pence. The building and dis- 
position of the gardens cost sixteen thousand 
pounds. ... I was there last night, but did not 
find the joy of it. Vauxhall is a little better, for 
the garden is pleasanter, and one goes by water." 
Ranelagh, however, appears soon to have eclipsed 
its rival on the other side of the water, for two 

says he has ordered all his letters to be directed 
thither." And again, some four years afterwards, he 
tells us : " Ranelagh is so crowded, that in going 
there t'other night in a string of coaches, we had a 
stop of six-and-thirty minutes." 

The Jubilee Masquerade, " after the Venetian 
manner," held here in 1749, about seven years after 
the gardens were first opened, is thus described by 
gossiping Horace Walpole : — " It was by far the 
best understood and prettiest spectacle I ever saw 

Chelsea. ] 





— nothing in a fair}'' tale ever surpassed it. One of 
the proprietors, who is a German, and belongs to 
court, had got my. Lady Yarmouth to persuade the 
king to ordei it.' It began at three o'clock ; at 
about five, people of fasliion began to go. When 
vou entered, you found the whole garden filled with 
marquees and spread with tents, which remained 
all night very commodely. In one quarter was a 
May-pole, dressed with garlands, and people dancing 
round it to a tabour and pipe, and rustic music, 
all masked, as were all the various bands of music 
that were disposed in different parts of the garden ; 
some like huntsmen, with French horns ; some like 
peasants ; and a troop of harlequins and scara- 
mouches in the little open temple on the mount. 
On the canal was a sort of gondola, adorned with 
flags and streamers, and filled v/ith music, rowing 
about. All round the outside of the amphitheatre 
were shops, filled with Dresden china, japan, &c., 
and all the shopkeepers in masks ; the amphitheatre 
was illuminated, and in the middle was a circular 
bov.-er, composed of all kinds of firs, in tubs, from 
twenty to thirty feet high ; under them orange- 
trees, with small lamps in each orange, and below 
them all sorts of auriculas in pots ; and festoons of 
natural flowers hanging from tree to tree. Between 
the arches, too, were firs, and smaller ones in the 
balconies above. There were booths for tea and 
wine, gaming-tables and dancing, and about two 
thousand persons present. In short, it pleased me 
more than the finest thing I ever saw." 

Not many weeks after this there was another 
'• Subscription Masquerade " here, also described 
at some length by the same old Court gossip, 
^Valpole : — " The king was well disguised in an 
old-fashioned English habit, and much pleased 
with somebody who desired him to hold their 
cups as they were drinking tea. The Duke [of 
Cumberland] had a dress of the same kind, but 
was so immensely corpulent that he looked like 
' Cacofoco,' the drunken captain in Rule a Wife 
and Have a Wife. The Duchess of Richmond 
was a Lady Mayoress of the time of James I. ; and 
Lord De la Warr, Queen Elizabeth's ' Garter,' from 
a picture in the Guard Chamber at Kensington ; 
they were admirable masks. Lord Rochford, Miss 
Evelyn, Miss Bishopp, Lady Stafford, and Miss 
Pitt, Avere in vast beaut}', particularly the last, who 
had a red veil, which made her look gloriously 
handsome. I forgot Lady Kildare. Mr. Conway 
was the * Duke ' in Don Quixote, and the finest 
figure that I ever saw. Miss Chumleigh was 
' Iphigenia,' and so liglitly clad that you would 
have taken her for Andromeda. . . . The 
maids of honour were so offended they would not 

speak to her. Pretty Mrs. Pitt looked as if she 
came from heaven, but was only thither in the 
hatit of a Chanoineness. I ady Betty Smithson 
(Seymour) had such a pyramid of baubles upon 
her head that she was exactly the Princess of 
Babylon in Grammont." 

In 1754 the evening amusements here were ad- 
vertised under the name of Comus's Court ; and in 
1759 a burlesque ode on St. Cecilia's Da}', Avritten 
by Bonnell Thornton, was performed ; and we are 
told that "among the instruments employed there 
was a band of marrow-bones and cleavers, whose 
endeavours were admitted by the cognoscenti to 
liave been a great success." 

From Boswell v/e learn that even the sage and 
grave Dr. Johnson was as fond of Ranelagh as 
he was of the Pantheon. When somebody said, 
cynically, that there " was not half a guinea's worth 
of pleasure in seeing Ranelagh," he replied, " No ; 
but there is half a guinea's worth of inferiority 
to other people in not having seen it." Indeed, 
if we may believe the statement of his friend, 
Dr. Maxwell, some time assistant preacher at the 
Temple, Dr. Johnson '•' often, went to Ranelagh, 
which he deemed a place of innocent recreation." 
But this is rather a proof of Dr. Johnson's own 
purity than a testimony to the morals of the place, 
for " to the pure all things are pure." The gardens 
were constantly visited also by Oliver Goldsmith ; 
even when he was in difficulties, he would take an 
Irish cousin there, and treat her to the admission. 
Sometimes poor Oliver would stroll thither with 
Dr. Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds, to see the 
great world of which he at once knew so much 
and so little. 

The King of Denmark and his suite paid a 
visit to Ranelagh in 1768, when, we are told, his 
Majesty " examined the Temple and other build- 
ings, which gave him great satisfaction." 

The scene of the finish of the first Regatta on 
the Thames, in June, 1775, must have been one of 
the crowning glories of Ranelagh. The admission 
ticket on the occasion, engraved by Bartolozzi, was 
long held in high estimation by collectors. Plans 
of the regatta were sold, from a shilling to a penny 
each, and songs on the occasion sung, in vihich 
'' Regatta " was the rhyme for " Ranelagh," and 
"Royal Family" echoed to "hberty." "On the 
return of the wager boats," writes INIr. Faulkner, 
in his " History of Chelsea," " the whole pro- 
cession moved, in picturesque irregularity, towards 
Ranelagh. The Thames was now a floating town. 
The company landed at the stairs about nine 
o'clock, Avhen they joined the assembly which 
came by land in the Temple of Neptune, a 




temporary octagon kind of building, erected about 
twenty yards below the Rotunda, lined with striped 
linen of the different-coloured flags of the navy, 
ornamented with streamers of the same kind loosely 
flowing, and lustres hanging between each. This 
room discovered great taste. At half after ten 
the Rotunda was opened for supper, which dis- 
played three circular tables, of different elevations, 
elegantly set out. The Rotunda was finely illu- 
minated with parti-coloured lamps ; the centre was 
solely appropriated for one of the fullest and finest 
bands of music, vocal and instrumental, ever 
collected in these kingdoms, the number being 
240, in which were included the first masters, 
led by Giardini, and the whole directed by Mr. 

Simpson Supper being over, a part of 

the company retired to the Temple, where they 
danced without any regard to precedence ; while 
others entertained themselves in the great room. 
Several temporary structures were erected in the 
gardens, such as bridges, palm-trees, &c., which 
were intended to discover something novel in the 
illumination style, but the badness of the evening 
prevented their being exhibited." 

In 1802 an afternoon breakfast w^ls given here, 
under the auspices of the Pic-Nic Society, at 
which about two thousand persons of distinction 
were present. On this occasion M. Garnerin and 
Captain Snowden made an ascent in a balloon, 
and alighted at Colchester in less than an hour. 
" Tins," as Hone, in his " Year-Book," observes, 
" was the most memorable ascent in England from 
the time of Lunardi.'"' 

In the following year a magnificent ball was held 
in the Rotunda ; it was given by the knights of 
the Order of the Bath, on the occasion of an 
" installation," and is said to have been a " gala of 
uncommon splendour." But even this Avas sur- 
passed in brilliancy by an entertainment given 
shortly afterwards by the Spanish Ambassador. 
" The whole external front of the house," we read, 
"was illuminated in. a novel manner, and the 
portico immediately leading to the Rotunda was 
filled on each side with rows of aromatic shrubs. 
The Rotunda itself, at the first opening to the sight, 
exhibited a most superb appearance. The lower 
Ijoxes formed a Spanish camp, striped blue and 
red, each tent guarded by a boy dressed in the 
Spanish uniform. The gallery formed a Temple 
of Flora, lighted by a number of gold baskets 
containing wax tapers. The queen's box was 
hung with crimson satin, lined with white, which 
hung in festoons richly fringed with gold, and at 
the top was a regal crown. In the orchestra, 
which v,-as converted into a magnificent pavilion, 

a table of eighteen covers was laid for the Royal 
Family. Opposite to Her Majesty's box was a 
light temple or stage, on which a Spanish dance 
was performed by children ; at another part were 
beautiful moving transparencies : and a third was 
a lottery of valuable trinkets, consisting of six 
hundred prizes. Women, ornamented with wreaths 
of flowers, made tea; and one hundred valets, in 
scarlet and gold, and as many footmen, in sky-blue 
and silver, waited on the company." 

From about the year 1780 down to the close of 
the last century Ranelagh was in the height of its 
glory. It was visited by royalty, and all the nobility 
and gentrj-. " As no place was ever better calcu- 
lated for the display of female beauty and elegance," 
writes Mr. Faulkner, in his work above quoted, '• it 
followed, of course, the greatest belles of the day 
frequented Ranelagh, at the head of whom was the 
celebrated and beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, a 
lady eminent for every grace that could adorn the 
female, and not a iQw candidates for admiration 
were in her train." The Rotunda was subse- 
quently used for late evening concerts, and as an 
assembly-room, and the gardens for the display of 
fireworks and other out-door amusements. The 
place soon ceased to be the attractive promenade 
it had formerly been, and the brilliant display of 
beauty it had made for years was no more. The 
whole of the premises were taken down about the 
year 1805. 

Many persons will remember the description of 
the ideal "Old Gentleman," in Hone's "Table- 
Book." " He has been induced to look in at 
' Vauxhall ' again, but likes it still less than he did 
years back, and cannot bear it in comparison with 
Ranelagh ! He thinks eveiything looks poor, flaring, 
and jaded. ' Ahl' says he, with a sort of triumphant 
sigh, ' ah ! Ranelagh was a noble place ! Such taste I 
such elegance ! and such beauty ! There was the 

Duchess of A , the finest woman in England, 

sir ; and Mrs. B , a mighty fine creature ; and 

Lady Susan what's-her-name, who had that unfortu- 
nate affair with Sir Charles. Yes, indeed, sir, they 
came swimming by you like swans. Ranelagh for 
me ! ' " 

Whether it be true or not that ladies of bon 
ton " came swimming by you like swans," there 
can be no doubt that Ranelagh, in its palmy days, 
was a favourite haunt of the " upper ten thousand," 
and that "duchesses" and "Lady Susans" in 
plenty jostled there against the troops of plebeian 
City and country dames. 

A •RTiter in the Connoisseur {Ko. 22) complains : 
"The m.odest excesses of these times [the reign of 
George II.] are in their nature the same with those 



which were formerly in vogue. The present races 
of ' bucks,' ' bloods,' and ' free-thinkers ' are but the 
spawn of the Mohocks and Hell-fire Clubs ; and if 
our modern fine ladies have had their masquerades, 
their Vauxhalls, their Sunday tea-drinking at Rane- 
lagh, and their morning chocolate in the Haymarket, 
they have only improved upon the 'Ring,' the 
Spring Gardens, the New Exchange assignations, 
and the morning Puppet-show, which enjoyed the 
attention of their grandmothers. And so, as it is 
not apparent that our people of fashion are more 
wicked, so neither are they more wise than their 
predecessors." The fall of Ranelagh — like other 
enchanting places of amusement, the description of 
whose assemblages give us such graphic pictures 
of the frail beauties of the last century — is thus 
mournfully set forth in Murphy's " Prologue to 
Zobeide : " — 

"Adieu, Almack's ! Cornelys' masquerade ! 
Sweet Ranelagh ! " 

The picture of ruin and desolation which the 
site of Ranelagh presented after the demolition of 
the Rotunda and the dismantling of its gardens, is 
ably reproduced by Sir Richard Phillips, in his 
" Walk from London to Kew." " On entering 
Chelsea," he writes, " I was naturally led to 
inquire for the site of the once gay Ranelagh. I 
passed up the avenue of trees, which I remember 
often to have seen blocked up with carriages. At 
its extremity I looked for the Rotunda and its 
surrounding buildings ; but, as I could not see 
them, I concluded that I had acquired but an 
imperfect idea of the place in my nocturnal visits ! 
I went forward, on an open space, but still could 
discern no Ranelagh. At length, on a spot 
covered with nettles, thistles, and other rank 
weeds, I met a working man, who, in answer to 
my inquiries, told me that he could see I was a 
stranger, or I should have known that Ranelagh 
had been pulled down, and that I was then standing 
on the site of the Rotunda ! Reader, imagine my 
feelings, for I cannot analyse them ! This vile 
place, I exclaimed, the site of the once enchanting 
Ranelagh ! It cannot be ! The same eyes were 
never destined to see such a metamorphosis ! All 
was desolation ! A few inequalities appeared in 
the ground, indicative of some former building, 
and holes filled with muddy water showed the 
foundation-walls ; but the rest of the space, making 
about two acres, was covered with clusters of tall 
nettles, thistles, and docks. On a more accurate 
survey I traced the circular foundation of the 
Rotunda, and at some distance discovered the 
broken arches of some cellars, once filled with the 
choicest wines, but now with dirty water. Further 

on were marks against a garden wall, indicating 
that the water-boilers for tea and coftee had once 
been heated there. I traced, too, the site of the 
orchestra, where I had often been ravished by 
the finest performances of vocal and instrumental 
music. My imagination brought the obj ects before 
me ; I fancied I could still hear an air of Mara's. 
I turned my eye aside, and what a contrast ap- 
peared ! No ghttering lights ! no brilliant happy 
company ! no peals of laughter from thronged 
boxes ! no chorus of a hundred instruments and 
voices ! All was death-like stillness ! Is such, I 
exclaimed, the end of human splendour ? Yes, 
truly, all is vanity ; and here is a striking example. 
Here are ruins and desolation, even without 
antiquity ! I am not mourning, said I, over the 
remains of Babylon or Carthage — ruins sanctioned 
by the unsparing march of time ; but here it was 
all glory and splendour, even yesterday ! Here, 
but seven years have flown away, and I was myself 
one of three thousand of the gayest mortals ever 
assembled in one of the gayest scenes which the 
art of man could devise — ay, on this very spot ; 
yet the whole is now changed into the dismal 
scene of desolation before me ! " 

-Although not a vestige of the gardens remains, 
its memory is preserved by naming after it some 
of the streets, roads, and places which have been 
built near its site. Mr. Jesse, in his work on 
'"London," published in 187 1, tells us that "a 
single avenue of trees, formerly illuminated by a 
thousand lamps, and over-canopying the wit, the 
rank, and the beauty of the last century, now 
forms an almost solitary memento of the departed 
glories of Ranelagh. Attached to these trees, the 
author discovered one or two solitary iron fixtures, 
from which the variegated lamps were formerly 

According to Mr. John Timbs' "Club Life of 
London," there was subsequently opened in the 
neighbourhood a New Ranelagh ; but it would 
appear to have been short-lived, as its memory has 
quite passed away. 

Such, however, was the celebrity of the old Rane- 
lagh, that another Ranelagh, like a second Salamis, 
was established in the suburbs of Paris ; as witness 
the following extract from a French writer in 1875 : — 
" The name of Ranelagh Gardens, almost forgotten 
in England, will soon be equally so in Paris. Or 
rather, it would be, but for the inscription on the 
neighbouring street, preserving a title which no 
revolution need trouble to alter. Some alterations 
now undertaken by the Parisian authorities in the 
street recall to mind the chequered fortunes of the 
French Ranelagh. It was started in the summer 



of 1774 by a simple gardener of the Bois de 
Boulogne as a private speculation, the name, 
of course, being borrowed from Chelsea. The 
gardener was patronised by the Prince de Soubise, 
and *the concerts and balls were at first a great 
success. But the novelty died out, and about 
nine years afterwards the proprietor was fain to 
escape ruin by becoming manager to a private 
club, with a more select clientele. Thenceforth, 
till the Revolution, the place was a success. 
Marie Antoinette had been seen there, and the 
club invitations were much sought after. The 
Republic, pure and simple, would have been 
fatal to the gardens had not the Directory come 
to the rescue. Under its less rigid regime came 
Tre'nitz, with his troop of Muscadins and Merveil- 
leuses. Morisart died just before the fall of the 
Empire, and in time to escape the sight of the 
Cossacks trampling his pet flower-beds and lawns. 
From 1816 to 1830 another aristocratic club held 
its reunions at Ranclagh, and under the Orleans 
dynasty it became again a public place of enter- 
tainment. At last came M. Thiers' .scheme of 
fortifying Paris, and his ramparts cut the gardens 
in half. This was in 1840 ; and twenty years later 
a decree suppressed for ever the last lingering 
vestige of gaiety, and consigned the ground to 
building purposes." 

Queen's Road West (formerly called Paradise 
Row) has been the residence of many of the 
" nobility and gentry " of Chelsea in former times. 
In a large mansion adjoining Robinson's Lane, 
lived the Earl of Radnor, in the time of Charles II., 
and here his lordship entertained the king " most 
sumptuously" in September, 1660. The parish 
register contains several entries of baptisms and 
deaths in the Radnor family. 

Sir Francis Windham had a house in this road at 
the commencement of the last century. After the 
battle of Worcester he entertained Charles II. at 
Trent, where the king remained concealed for 
several days. Dr. Richard Mead, the eminent 
physician, of whom we have already spoken in our 
account of Great Ormond Street,* resided in this 
neighbourhood for some time, as appears by the 
parish books. Another physician of note who 
lived here about the same time was Dr. Alexander 
Blackwell, who resided in a house near the Botanic 
Garden. Dr. Blackwell became involved in diffi- 
culties; and after leaving Chelsea he went to 
Sweden, where he was appointed physician to the 
king. Subsequently, however, he was found guilty 
of high treason, " in plotting to overturn the con- 

♦ See Vol. IV., p. 560. 

stitution of the kingdom, and sentenced to be 
broken alive on the wheel." 

In the Queen's Road, adjoining the Royal Hos- 
pital, with its gardens stretching down towards the 
river, and close by the spot where formerly stood 
the residence of Sir Robert Walpole, is the Victoria 
Hospital for Sick Children. The building, which 
was converted to its present use in 1866, was for- 
merly known as Cough House. It was built by 
John, Earl of Carberry — one of the " noble authors ' 
mentioned by Horace Walpole — at the commence- 
ment of the last century. The estate afterwards 
came into the possession of the Gough family, and 
the house subsequently was made use of for many 
years as a school for young ladies. The house has 
lately been raised a storey, and additional wards 
have been provided. These improvements were 
effected at an expense of about ^^3,000, and the 
hospital was formally re-opened by the Princess 

At the eastern end of Queen's Road, forming 
one side of a broad and open thoroughfare, connect- 
ing Sloane Street with new Chelsea Bridge, stand 
some fine barracks for the Foot Guards, erected 
about the year 1870. They are constructed in a 
substantial manner with light-coloured brick, re- 
lieved with rustic quoins of red brick, and they 
consist of several commodious blocks of buildings, 
the largest of v/hich contains quarters for the 
officers, &c. They afford accommodation for about 
1,000 men. It has been said, perhaps with some 
amount of truth, that this is the only handsome 
structure in the way of barracks to be seen in the 
entire metropolis. If so, the assertion is not very 
creditable to our character as a nation, considering 
the duties that we owe to those Avho defend our 
homes and our commerce in the field. 

In 1809, the Serpentine — which joined the 
Thames by Ranelagh — rose so high as to overflow 
its banks, and boats were employed in carrying 
passengers between the old Bun-house and Chelsea 

Mr. Larwood, in his " History of Sign-boards," 
says that there is, or, at all events, was in 1S66, in 
Bridge Row, a public-house bearing the sign of the 
" Chelsea Water-works." These water-works, after 
which it was named, were constructed about the 
year 1724. A canal was dug from the Thames, near 
Ranelagh to Pimlico, where an engine was placed 
for the purpose of raising the water into pipes, which 
conveyed it to Chelsea, Westminster, and other 
parts of western London, The reservoirs in Hyde 
Park and the Green Park were supplied by pipes 
from the Chelsea Waterworks, which, in 1767, 
yielded daily 1,750 tons of water. 





CHELSEA (conii>iueci).—CREMOR^E GARDENS, &c. 

" Where smiling Chelsea spreads the cultured lands, 
Sacred to Flora, a pavilion stands ; 
And yet a second temple neighb'ring near 

Nurses the fragrance of the various year." — Anon. 

Chelsea Farm, the Residence of Lord Cremorne — Cremorne Gardens — Attempts at Aerial Navigation — Ashburnham House— The Ashbuinham 
Tournament— The "Captive " Balloon— Turner's Last Home— Noted Residents in Lindsey Row— The King's Road— The Old Burial-ground 
— St. Mark's College— The "World's End" Tavern — Chelsea Common — Famous Nurseries— Chelsea Park — The "Goat inl'oots" — The 
Queen's Elm— The Jews' Burial ground— Shaftesbury House— The Workhouse — Sir John Cope— Robert Boyle, the Philosopher and 
Chemist-The Earl of Orrery— Mr. Adrian Haworth— Dr. Atterbury— Shadwell, the Poet— The "White Horse" Inn-Mr. H. S. 
Woodfall— The Original of "Strap the Barber" in "Roderick Random" — Danvers Street— Justice Walk — The Old Wesleyan Chapel- 
Chelsea China— Lawrence Street— Tobias Smollett— Old Chelsea Stage-coaches— Sir Richard Steele and other Noted Residents— The Old 
Clock-house— The Glaciarium— Hospital for Diseases of Women— Chelsea Vestry Hall, and Literary and Scientific Institution— Congrega- 
tional Church — Royal Avenue Skating-rink — Sloane Square — Bloody Bridge — Chelsea, Brompton, and Belgrave Dispensarj' — Royal Court 
Theatre — Hans Town — Sloane Street — Trinity Church — Sloane Terrace Wesleyan Chapel — Sir C. W. Dilke, Bart. — Ladies' Work Society- 
Hans Town School of Industry- for Girls — "Count Cagliostro "— An Anecdote of Professor Person — Chelsea House — St. Marj''s Roman 
Catholic Chapel — The "Marlborough Tavern" — Hans Place — Miss Letitia E. Landon — The Pavilion^St. Saviour's Church — Prince's 
Cricket ground and Skating-rink— The "South .A.ustralian." 

A FEW hundred yards to the west of old Battersea 
Bridge, on the north side of the river, are the cele- 
brated Cremorne Gardens, so named after Thomas 
Dawson, Lord Cremorne, the site of whose former 
suburban residence and estate they cover. They 
have proved, to a very great extent, the successors 
of " Kuper's," Vauxhall, and Ranelagh. In the 
early part of the present century. Lord Cremorne's 
mansion, known as Chelsea Farm, was often visited 

by George IIL, Queen Charlotte, and the Prince of 
Wales. In 1S25 the house and grounds devolved 
on Mr. Granville Penn, a cousin of Lady Cremorne, 
who much improved the estate, but subsequently 
disposed of it. The natural beauty of the situation 
soon afterwards led to the grounds being opened to 
the public as the " Stadium," and a few years later 
the gardens were laid out with great taste ; the 
tavern adjoining them was enlarged, and the place 




became the resort of a motley crowd of pleasure- 
seekers, and generally well attended. To the 
present time it has retained most of its original 
features. At night during the summer months the 
grounds are illuminated with numberless coloured 
lamps ; and there are various ornamental buildings^ 
grottoes, &c., together with a theatre, concert-room, 
and dining-hall. The amusements provided are of 
a similar character to those which were presented 

On the west of the gardens is Ashburnham 
House. It was built about the middle of the last 
century by Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, an eminent 
physician, after whose death it was purchased by 
Sir Richard Glynn, who sold it to the Earl of Ash- 
burnham, from whom it obtained its present name. 
It was next in the possession of Dr. Cadogan, 
and again changing hands at different periods, ulti- 
mately became the residence of the Hon. Leicester 

at Vauxhall Gardens in its palmy days : such as 
vocal and instrumental concerts, balloon ascents, 
dancing, fireworks, &c. Several remarkable balloon 
ascents have been made from these grounds, notably 
among them being that of Mr. Hampton, who, in 
1839, ascended with a balloon and parachute, by 
which he descended from a height of about two 
miles. More recently an attempt at aerial naviga- 
tion was made from Cremorne by a foreigner, M. 
de Groof The apparatus was suspended beneath 
the car of a balloon, and when the aeronaut had 
reached a considerable height, the machine was 
liberated ; but owing to some defect in its con- 
struction, it immediately collapsed and fell to the 
ground with a fearful crash, killing its unfortunate 
occupant on the spot. 

Stanhope, afterwards Earl of Harrington. A strip 
of waste ground between Ashburnham House and 
the river, called the " Lots," has been " a bone of 
contention " for many years between the residents 
in the neighbourhood and the Chelsea Vestry, in 
consequence of the disgraceful scenes carried on by 
a large number of " roughs " who are in the habit of 
meeting there. Here, in 1863, in a large pavilion 
prettily draped with the flags of all nations and a 
variety of heraldic trophies and allegorical devices, 
a sensational entertainment on a scale of great 
splendour was given here, in the shape of a revival 
of the Eglinton " tournament." A large number 
of persons took part in it as heralds, seneschals, 
yeomen, pages, men-at-arms, squires, and banner- 
bearers, clad in an almost endless variety of shining 




armour and mediaeval costume. In 1869, a monster 
balloon, nearly loo feet in diameter, made daily 
ascents for some time from these grounds. The 
balloon, appropriately called "The Captive," was 
secured by a rope about 2,000 feet long, Avhich 
was let out and wound in by steam power. The 
Captive balloon, however, one day escaped from 
its moorings, and the exhibition was discontinued. 
In a small house close to Creniorne Pier^ Mr. 
J. M. ^V. Turner, R.A., resided for some time, 
under an assumed name, and here, as we have 
already stated,* he died in 185 1. Whilst living 
here, Turner would not see any person, excepting 
a very few intimate friends, and, in fact, was too 
reserved to allow himself to be recognised. This 
inclination at the close of his life, perhaps, was only 
natural. Doubtless, Chelsea is proud to add his 
name to its list of distinguished residents. 

Close by, in Lindsey Row, lived Sir Mark Isam- 
bard Brunei, the originator and designer of the 
Thames Tunnel; and Mr. Timothy Bramah, the 
distinguished locksmith. Here, too, resided Mr. 
John Martin, R.A. The Rev. A. C. Coxe, in his 
"Impressions of England," published in 185 1, 
speaking of Chelsea, says : — " We landed not far 
from this church, and called upon John Martin, 
whose illustrations of Milton and ' Belshazzar's 
Feast' have rendered him celebrated as a painter 
of a certain class of subjects, and in a very peculiar 
style. He was engaged on a picture of ' The Judg- 
ment,' full of his mannerism, and sadly blemished 
by offences against doctrinal truth, but not devoid 
of merit or of interest. He asked about Allston 
and his ' Belshazzar,' and also made inquiries 
about Morse, of whose claim as the inventor of the 
electric telegraph he was entirely ignorant." 

Mr. Henry Constantine Jennings, an antie^uary 
and virtuoso, settled in Lindsey Row at the close 
of the last century. His "museum," which com- 
prised a large collection of shells, minerals, pre- 
served birds, quadrupeds, &c., was disposed of by 
auction in 1820. 

Passing from Cremorne Gardens eastward 
through the centre of Chelsea, is a broad thorough- 
fare, called the King's Road ; and by this road we 
shall now proceed on our way backward towards 
Sloanc Street, picking up such scraps of information 
respecting the neighbourhood on either side as the 
records of the district have left for our use. Re- 
specting the King's Road itself, Ave may state that, 
prior to the reign of Charles II., it was only a narrow 
lane through the fields, for the convenience of the 
fanners and gardeners who had lands in the neigh- 

• Sec Vol. IV., p. 448. 

bourhood. Soon after the Restoration, however, 
it was found that it might be made to serve as a 
more direct road for the king between St. James's 
or Whitehall and Hampton Court Palace; and, 
accordingly, after some discussion between the 
Government and the parishioners of Chelsea, it 
was converted into an ordinary coach-road. It 
continued to be the private road of royalty down 
to the reign of George III. Pass tickets, ad- 
mitting passengers along it by sufferance, are still 
in existence; they bear on the one side a crown 
and " G. R," and on the other, as a legend, " The 
King's Private Road." 

Along this road is the burial-ground belonging 
to the parish of Chelsea, in which lies Andrew 
Millar, the original publisher of Hume's " History 
of England," Thomson's " Seasons," and some 
of Fielding's novels. 

The Duke of York was thrown from his horse 
whilst riding along this road towards Fulham ; he 
had two ribs broken. John Timbs records that, 
"near the spot where is now the Vestry Hall, the 
Earl of Peterborough was stopped by highwaymen 
in what was then a narrow lane ; and the robbers, 
being Avatched by some soldiers, Avho formed a 
part of the guard at Chelsea College, were fired at 
from behind the hedge. One of these highwaymen 
turned out to be a student in the Temple, Avhose 
father having lost his estate, his son lived by ' play, 
sharping, and a little on the highway ' — the despe- 
rate resources of the day." 

Nearly opposite Ashburnham House, on the 
north side of the King's Road, is St. Mark's College, 
Avhich Avas established in 1841 by the National 
Society, as a training institution for schoolmasters. 
The residence of the principal Avas formerly known 
as Stanley House, and Avas originally built in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Arthur Gorges, 
Avhose family at that time possessed considerable 
property in Chelsea. After passing through several 
hands, the mansion, abotit the middle of the last 
century, became the property of the Countess of 
Strathmore, Avho afterwards married Captain A. R. 
BoAves, Avhose barbarity to her dreAV on him tlie 
execration of the country. About the year 1815, 
Stajiley House Avas sold to Mr. William Hamilton, 
from Avhom it subsequently passed to the National 
Society. The college consists of an upper, middle, 
and loAvcr schools, and accommodates about 100 
students, Avho are here trained for schoolmasters. 
The chapel, Avhich abuts on the Fulham Road, is 
an unpretending building ; but a certain amount ot 
effect is produced in tlic interior by the stained- 
glass Avindows. The buildings of the college form a 
quadrangle, erected in the Italian style ; and there? 




is also in the grounds an octagon building, used as 
a practising school for children who reside in tlie 

In the King's Road, near Milman Street, is an 
inn styled " The World's End." The old tavern, 
like the other " World's End " at Knightsbridge, 
which we have already described,* was a noted 
house of entertainment in the reign of Charles II. 
The tea-gardens and grounds were extensive, and 
elegantly fitted up for the reception of company. 
The house was probably called " The World's End " 
on account of its then considerable distance from 
London, and the bad and dangerous state of the 
roads and pathways Jeading to it. As it stood 
within a few yards of the river, most of the visitors 
made the journey in pleasure-boats. 

At the commencement of the present century, 
the King's Road was by no means a place for 
general business. The line of road was almost ex- 
clusively occupied by nurserymen and florists, and 
it became, in consequence, to a certain extent, a 
fashionable resort for the nobiUty and gentry. The 
road, in most parts, was very narrow, and the 
different grounds were mostly enclosed in wooden 
palings. At night there were only a few gloomy 
oil-lamps, and the lives and property of the inhabi- 
tants were principally entrusted to a small number 
of private watchnien. Northward of the King's 
Road, at no very distant date, a considerable extent 
of land, stretching away to the Fulham Road, was 
a vast open heath, known as Chelsea Common. 
Standing in the central space, which has, singularly 
enough, been left as a memorial of the old common, 
and looking at the streets now branching off in 
various directions, it is not easy to call up visions 
of the past — say two himdred years ago — when 
this locality was probably as agreeable a spot as 
Clapham or Wimbledon Commons in our own 

Faulkner conjectures that the Fulham Road 
formed the north boundary of the common, and 
on the south it reached to some nursery grounds 
abutting on the King's Road, which said nurser}' 
grounds, one may conjecture, had been cut off the 
common by some party or parties in the days when 
land boundaries were not always kept with care. 
Westward, the common must have extended about 
to the line of Robert and Sydney Streets, and east- 
ward to " Blackland's Lane," as it was first called, 
afterwards Marlborough Road ; or perhaps origi- 
nally the common was bounded by the road or lane 
which is now Sloane Street. It is first spoken of 
as " Chelsea Heath," and it appears to have been 

* See page 21, ajtte. 

covered, at least in part, with heath and furze, 
therein resembling some of the Surrey commons. 
One of the earliest records concerning Chelsea 
Common tells us the fact that the City train-bands 
used to repair to it for exercise, and that, in the 
disturbed times of Charles I., reviews of troops were 
more than once held there. 

This common was used in former times as a 
means of raising money for the benefit of the parish. 
We have particulars relating to such a usage as far 
back as the reign of Charles II., when the re -build- 
ing of the church having been resolved upon. Lord 
Lindsey, Charles Cheyne, and those interested in 
the common, agreed to enclose it for twenty-one 
years, the term commencing in March, 1674. On 
the expiration in 1695, ^'^^ ground was again 
thrown open. Somewhat more than a century 
later — namely, in 17 13 — articles were drawn up, 
Sir Hans Sloane being then lord of the manor, in 
which, amid sundry other recitals, it is stated that 
the ground at Chelsea Common having been put to 
various unlawful uses, the holders decide to let it 
for three years to one John Hugget. It was stipu- 
lated that he was to fence the common "with a 
good bank and a ditch all around," which it is pro- 
bable that he did, to the satisfaction of all parties, 
as he had his term renewed from time to time. 

An Act passed in the reign of George I., which 
empowered the surveyor of the London roads to 
dig up gravel on any common or waste land con- 
venient to him, gave rise to some disputes in 
Chelsea. The parties interested in the common 
were informed that much gravel had been removed 
from Chelsea, and they objected to this, but the 
Government paid little heed to the complaint. 
The agents of the surveyor were warned ofT, though 
not expelled by ph}-sical force ; and they went away 
for awhile, to come back at the next good oppor- 
tunity. This matter was not finally settled till 
1736; for some years previous to that, however, a 
regular account was kept of all the gravel removed, 
and payment demanded (and obtained) from those 
who kept the roads. It was also in the early part 
of the eighteenth century that an enterprising indi- 
vidual, probably short of money, set up an experi- 
mental turnpike on part of the waste ground on the 
common near Blackland's Lane. The Chelsea 
authorities fined him heavily, and his scheme was 
forthwith abandoned. 

It was not until some years after an Act had 
been obtained for the purpose, that the first streets 
were formed on what had been Chelsea Common. 
The earliest building lease appears to bear date in 
1790, being to the Hon. George Cadognn. The 
streets, square, grove (for there is at least one of 




each of these— Marlborough Square and White- 
head's Grove), and the bye-lanes, display all the 
variety to be expected under the circumstances, 
as a number of men took sites of very different 
sizes, and no general plan was attempted to be 
carried out. 

. About the spot now occupied by Pond Place, 
there were, as may be conjectured, one or more 
ponds, which supplied water to the cattle grazing 
on the common. It is worthy of being remem- 
bered that William Curtis, the botanist, once lived 
in Pond Place ; he was originally an apothecary's 
assistant, but his fondness for botany led him to 
give himself entirely to its study, as soon as his 
means allowed him. He was one of the pioneers 
in the formation of those Natural History Societies 
which have spread themselves in every part of our 
islands; and his "Botanical Magazine," begun 
in 1787, met with a sale which in that day was 
looked upon as something remarkable. Curtis at 
first opened a botanical garden in Lambeth Marsh, 
and subsequently removed his collection of plants 
to a nursery-ground at Queen's Elm, Brompton. 

Two noted nurseries in the King's Road abutted 
on Chelsea Common, which were favourite resorts 
in the reign of George IH. and later. Colvill's 
nursery, at the end of Blackland's Lane, had, at the 
beginning of the present century, what was con- 
sidered a large and splendid conservatory, in which 
the visitor was told there might be counted five 
hundred species of geranium. Also, there was a 
green-house, specially arranged so as to show the 
mode of growth of exotic parasitical plants. The 
memory of this nursery was kept up by " Colvill 
Terrace," now extinguished by the uniform num- 
bering of the King's Road. To the west of that 
ground was Davey's nursery, also fronting the 
King's Road. 

Beyond these nursery-grounds, and also surround- 
ing Chelsea Common on the south side, were large 
orchards ; but these shared the fate of the waste 
land, and are now, for the most part, covered with 
houses. Jubilee Place was built about iSio, and 
doubtless received its name in memory of the 
attainment by George IH. of the fiftieth year of his 
sovereignty. King Street, too, in the immediate 
locality, we may suppose received its name in 
honour of that particular monarch. Russell Street 
was originally called Wellesley Street, a name 
meant to do honour to a family bearing an illus- 
trious name, which, as we have already stated, once 
furnished Chelsea with a rector. Tlie names of 
Marlborough, Blenheim, and College Street, applied 
to some of the streets and places hereabouts, may 
perhaps lead to the belief that they were so named 

by . persons who have had to do with the Royal 

Chelsea Park, also situated on the north side of 
the King's Road, was part of the property of Sir 
Thomas More. It originally consisted of about 
thirty acres, and was enclosed with a brick wall, 
but this has gradually given vray to the erection 
of buildings. Towards the beginning of the last 
century a manufactory for raw silk was established 
here, and a number of mulberry-trees were planted 
for the purpose, but the scheme proved unsuccess- 
ful. Park Walk, whic'i now crosses this locality 
from the King's Road to Fulham Road, appears 
in old maps as " Lover's Walk," and was planted 
with trees. The " Goat in "Boots " is the sign of 
a public-house at the end of Park Walk, in the 
Fulham Road. It is said that the old sign was 
painted by George Morland, in order to liquidate 
a bill incurred during a residence here. In old 
deeds the inn is called simply " The Goat." 

A short distance eastward, at the corner of Upper 
Church Street, is the Queen's Elm Hotel, which 
keeps in remembrance a story traditionally told re- 
specting the Virgin Queen. The tavern is men- 
tioned in the parish books of Chelsea as far back as 
1667, under the name of the Queen's Tree, and 
the tradition is that it derived its name from the 
fact of Queen Elizabeth, on her way to or from a 
visit to Lord Burleigh at Brompton Hall, being 
caught in a shower of rain, and taking shelter under 
the branches of a wide-spreading and friendly elm 
which grew on the spot. The Queen's Elm, it may 
be added, is mentioned in the parish books of 
Chelsea as far back as the year 1586, where it is 
stated that "the tree at the end of Duke's Walk, 
in Chelsea parish, is called the Queen's Tree," and 
that " there was an arbour built round it by one 
Bostocke, at the charge of the parish." There was 
formerly a turnpike-gate at Queen's Elm ; and " a 
court of guard " there is . mentioned among the 
defences around London that were ordered to be 
prepared by the Parliament in 1642. 

The Jews' burial-ground, situate at Queen's Elm, 
was formed, early in the present century, on a 
piece of land purchased for that purpose. Much 
of the ground hereabouts, now known as West 
Brompton, was in former times called the hamlet 
of Little Chelsea. Towards the end of the seven- 
teenth century. Lord Shaftesbury, the autlior of 
" Characteristics," purchased an estate here. He 
rebuilt the house, and generally resided there during 
the sitting of Parliament. Locke here wrote part 
of his " Essay," and Addison several of the " Spec- 
tators." Of Lord Shaftesbury's letters there are 
several extant, dated from Chelsea, in 1708. The 




mansion was subsequently converted into an addi- 
tional workhouse for the parish of St. George, 
Hanover Square. 

I\Irs. S. Carter Hall, in her " Pilgrimages to 
English Shrines," gives us the following account of 
Shaftesbury House : — "The lodge at the entrance, 
as you see, is peculiar, the gate being of old 
wrought iron. The porter permitted us to pass in ; 
and while he sought the master, we had leisure to 
look around us. The stone steps are of old times : 
they are wide, and much worn ; a low wall flanks 
either side ; and on the right, downwards, are steps 
of narrower dimensions leading to the underground 
apartments. When we entered, we perceived that 
the hall is panelled in, so as to form a passage; 
but this is a modern innovation ; there can be 
no doubt of its having been, in Lord Shaftes- 
bury's time, a good-sized hall ; the banisters and 
supporters of the very handsome staircase are in 
admirable preservation, delicately rather than richly 
carved in oak, and not at all injured ; the stairs 
are also of oak. "What remains of the old house 
is chopped up, as it were, into small apartments, 
but there are rich and varied indications of the 
* light of other days ' to illumine the whole. Over 
several of the doors are strips of paintings, which, 
as well as can be seen through thick varnish, are 
the productions of no feeble pencil. With a little 
trouble these old paintings can be made out, but 
they would seem bitter mockeries, occupied as the 
house at present is ; and yet one of the inmates 
said, ' She liked to look up at that bit of picture 
Avhen she was sick a-bed : it took away the notion 
of a workhouse.' Surely art might be made even 
a teacher here. Some of the rooms retain an 
antique air." 

In 1733, a workhouse was erected on a piece of 
ground "near the conduit in the King's Road," 
which had been given by Sir Hans Sloane. Over 
the chimney-piece was a picture, by a Flemish 
painter, of a woman spinning thread, with the 
legend, " Waste not, want not."' 

A noted resident in Little Chelsea, at the com- 
mencement of the last centur}^, was Sir John Cope, 
so famous in the rebeUion of i745- His house, 
having been subsequently used as a private asylum, 
was pulled down; on its site Odell's Place was 
erected. Mr. Robert Boyle, the distinguished 
philosopher and chemist, a son of Richard, Earl of 
Cork, resided here in 1660. Here he was visited 
by the learned and eminent of his time— amongst 
others, by M. de ISIonconys, who, in his " Travels," 
after informing us how that, after dinner, he went 
with his son and 'Sir. Oldenburg " two miles from 
London in a stasie-coach, for five shillings, to a 

village called Little Chelsea, to visit Mr. Boyle," 
gives an account of several experiments which that 
gentleman made in his presence, and then proceeds : 
— " He has a very fine laboratory, where he makes 
all his extracts and other operations, one of which 
he showed me with salt, which being put in quite 
dry with gold leaves sixteen times thicker than that 
used by gilders into a crucible on a slow fire, even 
over a lighted candle, the salt calcined the gold so 
perfectly that water afterwards dissolved them both 
and became impregnated with them, in the same 
manner as with common salt." Evelyn, in his 
" Diary," has also recorded a visit to the same 
place. " I went," he writes, " with that excellent 
person and philosopher, Sir Robert Murray, to visit 
Mr. Boyle at Chelsea, and saw divers eftects of the 
Eolipile, for weighing air." 

Charles, fourth Earl of Orrery, grand-nephew of 
Mr. Boyle, was born at Little Chelsea in 1676. 
He was the improver of an instrument or machine 
which had been constructed for the purpose of 
exhibiting the motions of the planets round the 
sun, and which henceforth was called the Orrery, 
in his honour ; the instrument, which was held 
in high repute in the last century, is, however, now 
regarded as little more than an ingenious toy. 
Edward Hyde, third Earl of Clarendon, died at 
his house at Little Chelsea in 1723. 

Another resident of this part of Chelsea, at the 
beginning of the present century, was Mr. Adrian 
Haworth, the eminent entomologist and botanist, 
author of "Lepidoptera Britannica," "Miscellanea 
Naturalia," and other important works. He was a 
native of Hull, lived to a great age, and here he 

But even greater names are connected Anth 
Chelsea. Within only a short distance from where 
we are now, stood the abodes of Pym, Locke, 
Addison, Steele, Swift, and Atterbury ; and the 
extinct hamlet of Little Chelsea was gilded by 
the greater lights of the Augustan age of British 

That part of Church Street which lies between 
the King's Road and the river has in its time 
had some distinguished residents. The thorough- 
fare itself appears to have been built at a very 
early period. Here, for several years, lived Dr. 
Atterbury, afterwards Bishop of Rochester, whose 
committal to the Tower on suspicion of being con- 
cerned in a plot in favour of the Pretender was one 
of the principal events at the commencement of the 
last century. It was whilst living here that Dr. 
Atterbury became acquainted with Dean Swift, who, 
in 17 1 1, took up his residence opposite the doctor's 
house. Previous to becoming a resident at Chelsea, 




Swift was a frequenter of its rural scenes. He 
Avrites, in May, 17 ii :— "I leave my best gown and 
periwig at Mrs. Van Homrigh's (in Suffolk Street),* 
then walk up Pall Mall, out at Buckingham House, 
and so to Chelsea, a little beyond the church. I 

The old "White Horse" inn, in this street, 
which was burnt down some years since— a new one 
being substituted for it — was a very ancient struc- 
ture, built in the Tudor style of architecture. The 
liouse was rich in ancient panelling, together with 


set out about sunset, and get there in something 
less than an hour ; it is two good miles, and just 
5,748 steps." 

Shadwell, the poet laureate of the seventeenth 
century, was another inhabitant of Church Street 
or Church Lane. He lived in a house which had 
been previously occupied by Dr. Arbuthnot. 

See Vol. IV., p. 227. 

grotesque ornaments and carving, in the form of 
brackets. In the principal room, which was large, 
and consequently well adapted for such a purpose, 
the old Parocliial Guardian Society mostly held 
its meetings. 

Another remarkable old inn in the same street 
was the " Black Lion," which was situated oppo- 
site the rectory garden wall, and was pulled down 
a few years ago to make room for the present 




I. The Clock House. 

2. The Moravian Chaoel, 

3. The White Horse Inn^ 



tavern, which still retains the name. It is supposed 
that the old tavern was in its full glory during the 
reign of Charles II. ; for, in an old house situated 
at the corner of Danvers Street, coeval with it, was 
an old pump, which the present proprietor, who 
has resided there for sixty years, recently pulled 
down. It bore the date of 1697 on a leaden panel 
of the pump. The old tea-gardens was, no doubt, 
the resort of the many fashionable families which 
lived in the neighbourhood ; and attached to it was 
an extensive bowling-green for those who enjoyed 
that fashionable game. 

At the bottom of Church Lane, close by the old 
church in Lombard Street, lived, during the last 
twelve years of his life, i\Ir. Henry Sampson Wood- 
fall; whose name was brought prominently before 
the public as the printer of the celebrated " Letters 
of Junius." He used jocularly to say to his 
Chelsea friends that he had been ^ned and confitied 
by the Court of King's Bench, fined by the Houses 
of Lords and Commons, and indicted at the Old 

Mr. W. Lewis, bookbinder, the intimate friend 
of Dr. Smollett, and his fellow-companion whilst 
journeying from Edinburgh to London, lived for 
many years in this street. Lewis figures in the 
novel of "Roderick Random," under the character 
of " Strap the Barber." The description of the 
hero of the novel and of Strap, upon their arrival 
in London, and of their escapes from dangers and 
impositions, must be familiar to all who have read 
that work. 

Danvers Street takes its name from Danvers 
Gardens, on the site of which it was built in the 
latter end of the seventeenth century. Danvers 
House adjoined, if it was not actually part of, the 
property of Sir Thomas More, or that of his son-in- 
law, Roper. Sir John Danvers, v\'ho possessed this 
property early in the reign of Elizabeth, is said to 
have first introduced into this country the Italian 
method of horticulture, of which his garden, as 
represented by Kip, was a beautiful specimen. 
Danvers House passed from the Danvers family to 
the first Marquis of Wharton, in the reign of Queen 
Anne. The house was pulled down early in the 
last century. 

Justice Walk, which extends from Church Street 
to Lawrence Street, was so named from a magis- 
trate who lived in it. An avenue of lime-trees 
formerly adorned it, and rendered it an agreeable 
promenade for strollers. In this thoroughfare there 
is a commodious Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1841. 
The exterior is plain and unpretending; and be- 
neath the chapel is a spacious school-room. The 
old Wesleyan Chapel of Chelsea was of some anti- 

quity, and deserves mention as one of the favourite 
places of the founder of that community. In its 
pulpit John Wesley preached for the last time on 
February iSth, 1791, a fortnight before his death. 

Several houses at the corner of Justice "Walk and 
Lawrence Street were formerly used as th? show- 
rooms and manufactory of Chelsea china. The 
whole of the premises were pulled down towards 
the close of the last century, and new houses 
erected on the site. " The manufactory of Chelsea 
porcelain," says ]\Ir. Faulkner, in his work already 
quoted, " was set on foot and carried on by a 
Mr. Spremont, a foreigner. The establishment em- 
ployed a great number of hands ; but the original 
proprietor, having acquired a large fortune, retired 
from the concern ; and his successors, wanting his 
enterprise and spirit, did not so well succeed, and 
in a few years finally abandoned it. Previous to 
the dissolution of the establishment, the proprietors 
presented a memorial respecting it to the Govern- 
ment, requesting protection and assistance, in 
which they stated that ' the manufacture in Eng- 
land has been carried on by great labour and a 
large expense ; it is in many respects to the full 
as good as the Dresden ; and the late Duke of 
Orleans told Colonel York that the metal or earth 
had been tried in his furnace, and was found to be 
the best made in Europe. It is now daily im- 
proving, and already employs at least one hundred 
hands, of which is a nursery of thirty lads, taken from 
the parishes and charity schools, and bred to design- 
ing and painting — arts very much wanted here, and 
which are of the greatest use in our silk and printed 
linen manufactories.' Specimens of this porcelain 
have always been much esteemed, and still retain 
a great value. At the sale of the effects of Queen 
Charlotte, the articles in Chelsea china, of which 
her Majesty had a large collection, brought very 
high prices." It is recorded that Dr. Johnson had 
conceived a notion that he was capable of improv- 
ing on the manufacture of china. He even applied 
to the directors of the Chelsea China AVorks, and 
Avas allowed to bake\\\% compositions in their ovens 
in Lawrence Street. He was accordingly accus- 
tomed to^ go down with his housekeeper, about 
twice a week, and stay the whole day, she carrying 
a basket of provisions with her. The doctor, who 
was not allowed to enter the mixing room, had 
access to every other part of the premises, and 
formed his composition in a particular apartment, 
without being overlooked by any one. He had 
also free access to the oven, and superintended 
the whole of the process ; but he completely failed, 
both as to composition and baking, for his materials 
always yielded to the intensity of the heat, while 




thos'e af the Company came out of the furnace 
perfect and complete. Dr. Johnson retired in 
disgust, but not in despair, for he afterwards gave 
a dissertation on this very subject in his works. 

Chelsea china seems to have been manufactured 
as far back as the reign of Queen Anne, but was 
not brought out to anything like perfection till the 
reign of George II. He and the Duke of Cumber- 
land were the great patrons of the Chelsea China 
Works, and took much interest in promoting the 
success of this interesting manufacture. Beaumont 
painted some of the best landscapes on it ; Nolle- 
kens' father worked there ; and Sir James Thornhill 
was also employed in designing for it. The clay 
for the Chelsea china was brought from China by 
merchant captains, who procured it ostensibly for 
ballast. The productions of the Chelsea furnaces 
Avere thought worthy to vie with those of the cele- 
brated manufactories of Germany. Walpole, in his 
correspondence with Sir Horace Afann, mentions 
a service of Chelsea porcelain sent by the King 
and Queen to the Duke of Mecklenburg, which 
cost p^i,2oo. Possibly, it was in order to en- 
courage the manufacture that George II. had his 
coffee-pot of Chelsea china on board the royal 
yacht. It was evidently made for the ship, as it has 
" ship " burnt in at the bottom. In Mr. Forster's 
notes to the catalogue of the sale at Stowe, in 
1S48 — where the finest specimens of "rare old 
china,"' a pair of small vases, painted with Roman 
triumphs, sold for jQ2'^ los. — it is stated that 
George II. brought over artificers from Brunswick 
and Saxony ; whence, probably, i\I. Brongniart 
terms Chelsea a "Manufacture Royale." In 1745 
the celebrity of Chelsea porcelain was regarded 
with jealousy by the manufacturers of France, who, 
therefore, petitioned Louis XV. to concede to them 
exclusive privileges. 

Chelsea ware has always held a high rank among 
the varieties of English pottery. It reached its 
perfection about the year 1750; some fifteen years 
later, owing to the influx of foreign china, and the 
death of the director of the Chelsea v\'orks, Spre- 
mont, the workmen were transfeiTed to Derby, 
where afterv.-ards arose the celebrated Chelsea- 
Derby manufacture, which marked the first twenty 
years of the reign of George III., and of which 
Dr. Johnson remarked that it was "very beau- 
tiful, but nearly as dear as silver." 

Lawrence Street derives its name from having 
been erected on the site of the residence of the 
Lawrence family, which flourished here in the days 
of bluff King Hal. It is uncertain when this family 
first settled in Chelsea; but as the "Lawrence 
Chapel," in the old parish church, is built in the 

style of architecture which prevailed at the begin- 
ning of the fourteenth century, it was probably 
about that period, or, at all events, som.e time before 
they purchased the old manor house. At the 
"great house" in this street — commonly called 
jSIonmouth House — lived Ann, Duchess of Mon- 
mouth and Buccleuch, widow of James, Duke of 
Monmouth. Gay was for some time secretary to 
the duchess, as stated in Johnson's " Life of the 
Poet." Dr. Tobias Smollett afterwards resided in 
the same house. 

A view of the old mansion, which was taken 
down in 1833, and a fac-simile of an autograph 
letter, dated thence in 1756, and addressed to 
Richardson, the actor, are to be seen in Smith's 
" Historical and Literary Curiosities." The letter 
is of more than ordinary interest, as Smollett 
writes thus frankly on a literary subject : — " I was 
extremely concerned to find myself suspected of a 
silly, mean insinuation against Mr. Richardson's 
writings, wh.ich appeared some time ago in the 
Critical Raie-iU ; and I desired my friend, Mr. 
Millar, to assure you, in my name, that it was 
inserted without my privity or concurrence." It 
is pleasant to know that this frank letter was 
received as kindly as it was intended, and that 
one of those many " Quairels of Authors," which 
have afforded subjects without end to satirists and 
essayists, was thus avoided. Smollett has im- 
mortalised this spot by making it the scene of 
one of the chapters in his " Humphrey Clinker." 
Here Smollett wrote his " Adventures of Ferdinand, 
Count Fathom," the " Reprisals, or the Tars of 
Old England," and his continuation of Hume's 
" History of England." He was editor of the 
Briton, a paper set up to support Lord Bute's 
ministry, and v.-hich Wilkes answered by his cele- 
brated North Briton. 

Between Lawrence Street and Church Street, in 
former times, was the stabling for the old Chelsea 
stage-coaches. The fare for inside passengers was 
IS. 6d. ; outside, is.; and no intermediate fare of a 
lower sum was taken. Such are the changes, how- 
ever, brought about by the "whirligig of time," 
that passengers can now go almost from one 
extremity of London to the other for sixpence, 
and Chelsea can now be reached by steamboat 
for the moderate sum of twopence. 

Besides the residents in this part of Chelsea in 
former times, of whom we have already spoken, a 
few more remain to be mentioned. Sir Richard 
Steele occupied a house not far from the water- 
side. In a letter to Lady Steele, dated 14th of 
February, 17 16, Sir Richard writes : — "Mr. Fuller 
and I came hither to dine in the air, but the mail 




has been so slow that we are benighted, and chuse 
to lie here rather than go this road in the dark. 
I lie at our own house, and my friend at a rela- 
tion's in the town." Addison, Steele's coadjutor 
on the Spectator, lived for some time close by. 
Macaulay says that he (Addison) enjoyed nothing 
so much as the quiet and seclusion of his villa at 

At the house of a clergyman here, Mrs. Darby, 
the mother of Mary Robinson, better known as 
" Perdita," took up her home, with her children, on 
being deserted by her husband at Bristol. Soon 
afterwards she opened a girls' school in the neigh- 
bourhood, in which she was aided by her daughter. 

In 1823, Mrs. Somerville went to live in Chelsea, 
her husband being appointed Physician to Chelsea 
Hospital. She speaks of it as a " dreary and un- 
healthy situation," and adds that she suffered from 
sick headaches all the time. Here she numbered 
among her friends and visitors Lady Noel Byron 
and her daughter Ada, the Napiers, Maria Edge- 
worth, Lady Bunbury, and Sir James Mackintosh. 
Here Gilray, the caricaturist, is supposed to have 
been born, in 1757. We have already spoken of 
the unfortunate career of this celebrity in our 
account of St. James's Street.* 

John Pym, a distinguished member of the House 
of Commons in the seventeenth century, resided 
here for several years. Count D'Estrades, who 
came to England to negotiate the sale of Dunkirk, 
as ambassador from Louis XIV., fixed his abode 
at Chelsea during the years 1661 and 1662. "It 
was usual for the foreign ambassadors at that time 
to make their public entry from the Tower of 
London, but on this occasion the king sent his 
own coaches to Chelsea to carry the ambassador, 
and the count was accompanied by the equipages 
of the whole of the foreign diplomatic corps at that 
time in London. '"t 

The Rev. David Williams, the founder of the 
Royal Literary Fund,| lived here for some time, 
keeping a school. Here he had Franklin for a 
guest at the time Avhen the American philosopher 
was subjected to the abuse of Wedderburn before 
the Privy Council. 

Besides its literary celebrities, Chelsea has also 
liad its heroines, of whom mention of one or two 
will suffice. In the year 1739 was interred, in the 
College burying-ground. Christian Davies, alias 
Mother Ross, who, according to her own narrative, 
served in several campaigns under King William ! 
and the Duke of Marlborough, and behaved with 

♦ See Vol. IV., p. 167. t Faulkner's "History of Chelsea." 

: Sei Vol. IV., p 543. 

signal bravery. During the latter portion of her 
life she resided here, her third husband being a 
pensioner in the college. At this time she sub- 
sisted, as she tells us, principally on the benevolence 
of "the quality" at Court, whither she went twice 
a week in a hackney-coach, old age and infirmities 
having rendered her unable to walk. 

The famous Hannah Snell, whose history is 
recorded in various publications of the year 1750^ 
was actually at that time put upon the out-pensioners' 
list at Chelsea, on account of the wounds which she 
received at the siege of Pondicherry. Her singular 
story excited a considerable share of public atten- 
tion, and she was engaged to sing and perform 
the military exercises at various places of public 
entertainment ; some time afterwards she married 
one Eyles, a carpenter, at Newbury. A lady of 
fortune, who admired the heroism and eccentricity 
of her conduct, having honoured her with particular 
notice, became godmother to her son, and con- 
tributed liberally to his education. Mrs. Eyles, to 
the day of her death, continued to receive her 
pension, which, in the year 1786, was augmented 
by a special grant to a shilling a day. In the 
latter part of her life she discovered symptoms of 
insanity, and was admitted a patient into Bethlehem 
Hospital, where she died in 1792. 

Returning to the King's Road, we may here 
state that the house adjoining the entrance to the 
Moravian Chapel and burial-ground, at the north 
end of Milman's Row, and some few years since 
pulled down, was for many years in the occupation 
of the Howard family, of the Society of Friends. 
The elder Mr. Howard was gardener to Sir Hans 
Sloane ; his brother, having a natural genius for 
mechanics, became a clock-maker, and made the 
clock in the old parish church, in 1761, for ^^50. 
In front of Howard's house was placed a large 
clock, and hence the building came to be known as 
the " Clock-house," a name now applied to what 
was once the Moravian Chapel. 

On a plot of land behind the old Clock-house, 
and forming part of what was formerly Queen 
Elizabeth's nursery ground, and on which still 
exists a mulberry-tree said to have been planted 
by that queen, is situated the Glaciarium, or real- 
ice skating-rink. The rink is the result of Mr. 
John Gamgee's long and persevering labours to 
produce artificial cold at a low cost. The rink has 
an area of more than one hundred square yards, 
and the ice is about two inches thick. The ice is 
produced and its solidity maintained by the con- 
stant circulation of an aqueous solution of glycerine 
through a series of copper tubes of a flat, oval 
section, and which are embedded in the ice. The 




glycerine solution is kept at a low temperature by 
means of liquid sulphurous acid, which is con- 
stantly circulated, between a refrigerator on the 
one side and a condenser on the other, by means 
of an air-pump placed between the two and driven 
by a steam-engine. 

At No. 178, King's Road, is the Chelsea Hos- 
pital for Diseases of Women, established in 187 1. 
The institution is open gratuitously to those with- 
out means, small fees for medical treatment being 
required from such as can afford to pay. Upwards 
of a thousand patients are relieved here in the 
course of a year. 

On the south side of the King's Road, nearly 
opposite Robert Street and the Workhouse, is the 
Vestry Hall, a handsome and spacious building in 
the Italian style, constructed of red brick -with 
stone dressings. It was built from the designs of 
Mr. W. Pocock. A portion of the building is 
occupied by the Chelsea Literary and Scientific 
Institution, for the use of which a rental is paid. 
The whole interior is well arranged and admirably 
adapted for the requirements of the parish. Ad- 
joining the Vestry Hall are some commodious 
swimming-baths, which were constructed under the 
superintendence of Mr. E. Perrett, the designer of 
the floating-baths at Charing Cross. 

In Markham Square, abutting on the King's 
Road, is the Chelsea Congregational Church. The 
edifice stands in a very prominent position, and 
covers a large piece of ground'. The form of the 
building is slightly cruciform, having transepts pro- 
jecting about five feet from the body of the chapel. 
The prominent feature of the exterior is a tower 
and spire, rising from the west side of the southern 
transept to the height of about 130 feet. The 
style of the building is in the second period of the 
Gothic, and the exterior is constructed entirely of 
stone. There are lofty and spacious school-rooms, 
with the requisite offices, beneath the chapel. 

In the Royal Avenue, a turning on the south 
side of the road leading towards the Royal Hospital, 
is another skating-rink, having an area of about 
3,000 square yards, laid with Green and King's 
patent ice. 

At the eastern end of the King's Road is Sloane 
Square, which, together with Sloane Street and 
Hans Place, all bear testimony to the memory of 
the eminent physician. Sir Hans Sloane, of whom 
we have already had occasion to speak.* In 17 12 
Sir Hans Sloane bought the manor of Chelsea, to 
which he retired thirty years later, having resigned 
his public offices and employments. Thither he 

♦ See Vol. IV., p. 490. 

removed his museum, and there h* received the 

visits of the royal family and persons of high rank, 

I learned foreigners, and distinguished literary and 

I scientific men ; nor did he refuse admittance and 

! advice to either rich or poor who went to consult 

I him respecting their health. At ninety his health 

began to decline sensibly, and he died here, at the 

age of ninety- two, in January, 1753. 

In the early part of the present centuiy, the 
houses around Sloane Square were nearly the same 
in appearance as at the present time; but the 
square was an open space, simply enclosed with 
wooden posts, connected by iron chains. Here 
Queen Charlotte's Royal Volunteers often assem- 
bled, and marched off in military order to Hyde 
Park, headed by their band. On the eastern side 
of the square, at that time, was the bridge, of which 
we have already spoken, t called Bloody Bridge. 
It was about twelve or fourteen feet wide, and had 
on either side a wall of sufficient height to protect 
passengers from falling into the narrow rivulet 
which it spanned, and which belonged to the Com- 
missioners of Sewers. In old records this structure 
is called " Blandel Bridge;" and it probably re- 
ceived its more sanguinary appellation in conse- 
quence of the numerous robberies and murders 
formerly committed on the spot. In more recent 
times it has assumed the name of " Grosvenor 
Bridge," from the extensive adjoining property 
of the Grosvenors. 

In 1 81 2 the Chelsea, Brompton, and Belgrave 
Dispensary was established in Sloane Square, prin- 
cipally through the great exertions of the Rev. 
George Clark, the then chaplain of the Royal 
Militar)' Asylum. The objects of the institution, 
as officially set forth, are "the relief of sick poor 
(not paupers), the delivery of married women at 
their own homes, and attention to diseases of women 
and children." INIr. William Wilberforce, whose 
name will be for ever associated with the abolition 
of slavery, took a leading part in the foundation of 
the dispensary. The earliest annual average of 
patients relieved at this admirable institution did 
not exceed 1,200 ; the number benefited yearly 
amounts now to nearly 7,000. 

The Royal Court Theatre, in this square, was 
opened in January, 187 1, for the performance of 
comedies, farces, and the lighter order of dramas. 
The building, which was originally erected in the 
year 181 8 as a chapel, replaced a theatre at the 
beginning, and, singularly enough, the chapel has 
been replaced by a theatre at its close. The 
station on the Metropolitan District Railway, close 

t See p. 21, anU. 





by, doubtless confers great advantages on 
surrounding neighbourhood. 

At the beginning of tlie present century consider- 
able addition was made to the parish of Chelsea by 
the erection of houses in this direction, and most of 
the new buildings were called Hans Town. Sloane 
Street is a long and wide thoroughfare, running 
from north to south, and connecting Knightsbridge 
Avath the west part of Pimlico and the east end of 

liberality of several beneficent gentlemen, among 
whom may be named Mr. Joseph Butterworth, who 
at that time resided principally at Chelsea. 

At No. 72, Sloane Street, lived, for many years. 
Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Bart. In early life 
Sir Charles was associated with the literary labours 
of his father, who was the chief proprietor, and at 
one time editor, of the Athenmim newspaper. He 
was one of the earliest promoters of the first Great 


Chelsea. On the east side tlie houses are made to 
revert, so as to form three sides of a square, called 
Cadogan Place, of which we have already spoken.''' 
At the south end of Sloane Street, near the square, 
is Trinity Church, of which the Rev. Henry Blunt 
was the first incumbent. The edifice, which was 
consecrated in 1830, is a brick building of Gothic 
architecture. The western front consists of a 
centre, flanked by two wide towers rising to a level 
with the roof, and terminating with lofty octagonal 
spires. Sittings are provided for about 1,500 
worshippers. Sloane Terrace Wesleyan Chapel, 
which dates from 181 1, is a neat and substantial 
building, and its erection is attributed t© the 

• See p. 13, ante. 

Exhibition, and, indeed, look a leading share in 
the work of the Executive Committee. For the 
ability he displayed in that capacity, the honour of 
knighthood was offered to him, at the suggestion 
of the late Prince Consort. This honour, how- 
ever, he declined, together with all pecuniary 
remuneration. Mr. Dilke was likewise associated 
with the second Industrial Exhibition, as one ot 
the five Royal Commissioners appointed by Her 
Majesty. Almost immediately after the death of 
the Prince Consort, Her Majesty was pleased to 
confer a baronetcy on Mr. Dilke, " in recognition 
of the Prince's friendship and personal regard for 
him." Sir Charles was M.P. for the borough of 
Wallingford for a short time, and died in 1869 
at St. Petersburg. His son and successor was 




elected in 1868 as one of the first members for the 
newly-enfranchised constituency of Chelsea. He 
is the author of an interesting work on " Greater 
Britain," and of numerous pamphlets on social and 
political topics. 

At No. 31 is the Ladies' Work Society, an 
institution established for the sale of needlework, 
embroidery, and other articles, the production of 
ladies in necessitous circumstances. Its president 

of the good work it was doing, so that now (1876), 
under its royal patronage and presidency, the 
number of members, which at first were 200, have 
increased to 1,000. 

No. 103 is the Hans Town School of Industry 
for Girls. This institution was founded in the 
year 1804, and its special object is the training of 
young girls for servants, A sum of two guineas is 
charged on admission, and the number of children 

is her Royal Highness the Princess Louise (Mar- 
chioness of Lome), who herself designs much of 
the ornamental work. The institution was estab- 
lished in the year 187 1, in North Audley Street, and 
removed hither in 1875. The members of the 
society can do their work at home, and send it to 
Sloane Street for sale — the name of the exhibitors 
being known only to the ladies who form the 
committee. An annual subscription of 7s. 6d. 
constitutes a membership ; and when an article is 
sold at the price set upon it by the exhibitor, a 
penny in the shilling is deducted towards defray- 
ing the necessary expenses of the establishment. 
In the earlier period of its career the society 
had a somewhat hard struggle for existence, but it 
gradually grew in proportion to the publicity given 

benefited by this institution amounts to about fifty 

In this street the arch-impostor, Count Cag- 
liostro, was living in the year 17 86, when he 
published his celebrated " Letter to the English 
People," so cruelly criticised by M. de Morande, 
the editor of the Courrier dc VEurope^ and thus 
defended by himself in the Public Advertiser, under 
date September 3rd, 17S6:— "In physics and 
chemistry, Mr. Joker, arguments go for little and 
sneers for nothing — experience is all. Permit me, 
then, to propose a little experiment, which will 
divert the public, either at your expense or at mine. 
I invite you to breakfast for the 9th November 
next, at nine o'clock in the morning : you will 
furnish the wine and the accessories ; I will fiimish 




one dish in my own style — a little sucking pig, 
fattened according to my method. Two hours 
before breakfast I will present him to you alive, 
fat, and healthy. You will engage to have him 
killed and cooked, and I will not go near him till 
the moment when he is put on the table; you 
shall cut him yourself into four pieces, choose that 
which attracts you the most, and give me any 
piece you please. The day after this breakfast 
one of four things will have happened : either we 
shall be both dead or both alive, or I shall be dead 
and you alive, or you dead and I alive. Out of 
these four chances I give you three, and I bet 
5,000 guineas that the day after the breakfast you 
will be dead and I shall be in good health. You 
will confess that no fairer offer could be made, 
and that you must either accept the wager or 
confess your ignorance, and that you have foolishly 
and dully cut your jokes upon a subject beyond 
your knowledge." This characteristic letter failed 
to persuade M. de Morande to breakfast, and he 
was lain to back out as best he might, getting well 
laughed at for his pains. 

Count Cagliostro — or, to give him his proper 
name, Joseph Balsamo — used to advertise in the 
London newspapers that he was prepared to sell 
•■'the Egyptian pill of life at thirty shillings a 
dram ; " doubtless about as efficacious as the pre- 
paration called " mummy," which was actually 
dispensed as a curative for sores, by physicians 
duly provided with diplomas, so late as the reign 
of Queen Anne. Cagliostro's doings as a quack 
of quacks took place just after the " diamond 
necklace " affair ; and through the bursting of that 
bubble he was temporarily " down on his luck." 
No legal proceedings were taken against him in 
England, but subsequently he went to Rome, 
where he was flung into prison by the Inquisition, 
not, oddly enough, because he was a charlatan — 
the Piazza Navona and the Corso swarmed every 
day with vendors of Elixirs of Life and Love— but 
because he pretended to be a spirit-rapper. A 
very different state of things prevails at the present 
day in our own country. 

The following story, having reference to this 
particular street, we give for what it is worth : — 
"I had invited Porson," says an English author, 
" to meet a party of friends in Sloane Street, where 
I lived ; but the eccentric professor had mistaken 
the day, and made his appearance in full costume 
the preceding one. We had already dined, and 
were at our cheese. When he discovered his 
error, he made his usual exclamation of a w/iooe / 
as long as my arm, and turning to me, with great 
gravity, said, ' I advise you in future, sir, when you 

ask your friends to dinner, to ask your wife to 
write your cards. Sir, your penmanship is abomi- 
nable ; it would disgrace a cobbler. I swear that 
your day is written Thursday, not Friday,' at the 
same time pulling the invitation out of his pocket. 
It turned out, however, that he was wrong, which 
he was obliged to admit." 

Towards the commencement of the century, a 
considerable part of Sloane Street, between the 
square and Cadogan Place, was laid out as a 
botanical garden by a Mr. Salisbury. The extent 
of the grounds was about six acres, and at one 
time formed an agreeable promenade for company. 

At the corner of Cadogan Place and Lowndes 
Street is Chelsea House, the town residence of 
Earl Cadogan, whose family formerly had a 
mansion on the site of the Royal Military Asylum. 
The house was rebuilt in 1874, from the designs 
of ]\Ir. W. Young. The principal entrance, in 
Cadogan Place, is marked by a tetrastyle portico, 
which is carried up to the first floor as a bay 
window ; another bay window on the same front 
is carried up two storeys, and finished with balus- 
trades. The front to Lowndes Street has a semi- 
octagonal bay at each end, carried up the whole 
height of the building. The ground storey is of 
rustic stonework, and at the level of the first floor 
is a stone balcony carried all round the building. 
The drawing-room windows, which are well studied 
in proportion and design, have a most imposing 
effect. The chief rooms are large and lofty, and 
the principal staircase is of Sicilian marble. 

The manor and estate of Chelsea came into the 
possession of Lord Cadogan's family on the death 
of Mr. Hans Sloane by his own hand, Charles, 
second Lord Cadogan, having married Elizabeth, 
the daughter and co-heir of Sir Hans Sloane. It 
may be noted here that Horace Walpole was one 
of the trustees under Sir Hans Sloane's will. 

On the west side of the street, in Cadogan 
Terrace, is the Roman Catholic Chapel of St. 
Mary's, an unpretending structure, dating from 
181 1, and one of the oldest of the missionary 
chapels of that religion. Not far from the chapel 
are the convent and schools, together with a Roman 
Catholic i)urial-ground, with some large vaults and 
catacombs. The chapel itself was built by M. 
Voyaux de Franous, one of the French emigre 
clergy. Before its erection, mass was said in a 
room above a shop. The Duchess of Angouleme 
was a generous contributor to the building, and 
laid the first stone. Dr. Poynter, then Vicar- 
Apostolic of the London district, officiated at the j 
consecration. Poor as the building was, it cost ^ 
;;^6,ooo. It was Specially designed for the use of 




the French veterans confined at Chelsea. Among 
the assistant clergy here were Cardinal Weld, the 
late Bishop of Troy, Dr. Cox, and Mgr. Eyre. 
St. Mary's Church has been lately improved and 

In Cadogan Street stood formerly an ancient 
house, which, in its latter days, was known as the 
" Marlborough Tavern ; " the grounds adjoining 
were used for the purposes of cricket, &c. It is 
probable that the house was first established as a 
tavern during the lifetime of the great Duke of 
Marlborough, who, it is said, at one time resided 
in Chelsea, though his house is not identified. 
Marlborough Road, Blenheim Street, &c. — -all con- 
tiguous in this neighbourhood — doubtless hence 
received their names. The old "Admiral Keppel" 
tavern, with its tea-gardens, in Marlborough Road, 
was demolished in 1856, and on its site a large inn 
has been erected. 

Hans Place, at the north-west corner, between 
Sloane Street and Brompton Road, is an irregular 
octagonal space, laid out after the fashion of a 
London square. Here (at the house No. 25, 
according to Mr. Peter Cunningham) was born, 
in August, 1802, Miss Letitia E. Landon, the 
" L. E. L." of " Annual " celebrity. She went to 
school three doors off (No. 22), under a Miss 
Rowden, the same who numbered amongst her 
pupils Miss Mary R. Mitford. Miss Landon was 
the daughter of an army agent, and niece of the 
late Dr. W'hittington Landon, Dean of Exeter and 
Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, who took a 
sincere interest in the welfare and flxme of his 
relative. Having had the misfortune to lose her 
father when very young, and her brilliant talents 
soon becoming manifest, she appeared before the 
world, while little more than a child, as an enthu- 
siastic and delightful literary labourer. Her first 
efforts were made in the pages of the Literary 
Gazette. " To her honour, it must be added," 
says the editor of the Athenxiwi, " that the fruits 
of her incessant exertion were neither selfishly 
hoarded nor foolishly trifled away, but applied to 
the maintenance and advancement of her family." 
Hans Place is associated with all the earliest 
recollections of Miss Landon, whose home it was, 
in fact, until her marriage, in 1838, with Captain 
George Maclean, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, 
on the west coast of Africa. She died in October 
of the same year, universally beloved on account 
of her amiable and gifted nature, and as simple as 
a child. Her poems live, and zoill live. 

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Wigan, the popular actor 
and actress, resided for some time in Hans Place. 

Adjoining Hans Place is the Pavilion, formerly 

the residence of Lady Charlotte Denys, and now 
of the Earl of Arran. This building was erected 
in the latter part of the last century by a Mr. 
Holland, who had taken from Lord Cadogan a 
lease of one hundred acres of land hereabouts, 
formerly called " Blacklands," and now Upper 
Chelsea, for the purpose of forming new streets, 
&c. Mr. Holland reserved to himself twenty-one 
acres of land, on which he erected an elegant 
house for his own residence. The front of the 
house was originally built as a model for the 
Pavilion at Brighton, and was ornamented by a 
colonnade of the Doric order, extending the whole 
length of the building. The mansion consisted of 
three sides of a quadrangle, open to the north, 
and the approach was from Hans Place. The 
south front of the house faced an extensive and 
beautifully-planted lawn,' gently rising to the level 
of the colonnade and principal floor. On the west 
side of the lawn was an ice-house, round which was 
erected a representation of the ruins of an ancient 
" priory," in which the appearance of age and decay 
is said to have been strikingiy reproduced. The 
Gothic stonework was brought from the ancient 
but now demolished residence of Cardinal Wolsey, 
at Esher, in Surrey. The lawn was ornamented 
by a fine sheet of water, besides which the grounds 
had about them " considerable variety of fanciful 
intricate paths and scenery, properly ornamented 
with shrubs, and had a private communication with 
the house by the walks of the shrubbery." 

On the north side of Hans Place, near to Walton 
Street, is St. Saviour's Church. It was built about 
the year 1840, and has no particular pretensions 
to architectural effect. It has no spire, but two 
dwarf towers flank the entrance facing Walton 
Place. The interior is perfectly plain. Deep 
galleries, supported on octagonal pillars and iron 
girders, extend round three sides. The pillars 
supporting the front of the galleries are extended 
upwards, and from their capitals spring pointed 
arches along each side. In connection with this 
church there are some excellent schools and cha- 
ritable societies. 

Close by is Prince's Cricket Ground and Skating 
Rink, which has become one of the principal 
centres of attraction and conversation during the 
London "season." The place has long been a 
cricket-ground of second-rate importance, but more 
than once of late it has been suggested that it 
would not be bad to transfer to it the "Eton 
and Harrow Match " from " Lord's." Besides this, 
there is every accommodation for lawn-tennis. Bad- 
minton, and other games. Of late there has been 
a novelty added, in the shape of a permanent 


[West Brompton. 

*' skating-rink," with artificial ice, for practice at all 
seasons of the year. " Prince's " was always rather 
select and exclusive, but of late its exclusiveness 
has been increased, the price of admission being 
raised, and all sorts of stringent regulations being 
introduced by the committee, in order to keep it 
" select." So " select " indeed has it become, that 
a cricketing husband, though an old subscriber, 
may not take his wife into its precincts, nor can 
a skating wife introduce her husband, or even her 
daughter. Nay, further, an edict has gone forth 
from the despots of " Prince's " — " That no lady is 
to be admitted at all unless she has been presented 

at Court.'' Of course, therefore, the members are 
"very select;" no "nobodies" are there; "Lady 
Clara Vere de Vere" has the skating-rink all to 
herself, or shares it only with other "daughters 
of a hundred earls." How delightful ! Yes, de- 
lightful for Lady Clara and her friend, but not so 
for the outside public. 

The " South Australian " is the sign of a small 
inn not far from Prince's Grounds. This building 
tells its own tale, having been put up about the 
year 1835, when the colony of South Australia 
was founded, by some one who had a pecuniary 
interest in it. 


" Uplift a thousand voices, full and sweet. 
In this wide hall, with Earth's inventions stored. 
And praise th' invisible universal Lord, 
Who lets once more in peace the nations meet. 
Where Science, Art, and Labour have outpour'd 
Their myriad horns of plenty at our feet." — Tennyson. 

Situation of Brompton— Its Nurseries and Flower-gardens— Cromwell or Hale House— Thistle Grove— The Boltons— Westminster and West 
London Cemetery — Brompton Hall — St. Michael's Grove — Brompton Grove — ^Joha Sidney Hawkins — Gloucester Lodge — The Hospital for 
Consumption — The Cancer Hospital — Pelham Crescent — Onslov/ Square — Eagle Lodge — Thurloe Place and Square — Cromwell Road — 
The International E.\hibition of 1862 — Annual International Exhibitions — A School of Cookery — Exhibition of Scientific Apparatus — The 
National Portrait Gallery — The Meyrick Collection of Arms and Armour — The Indian Museum — South Kensington Museum — The Raphael 
Cartoons — The Sheepshanks, Ellison, and Vernon Galleries — Ancient and Modern Jewellery — The D.Iuseum of Patents'— The Science and 
Art Schools — The Royal Albert Hall — The National Training School for Music — Royal Horticultural Gardens. 

Brompton, which is — or, rather, was till lately — a 
hamlet to the parisli of Kensington, is situated on 
the north side of Little Chelsea, and on the west of 
Sloane Street. It has long been celebrated for its 
soft air, and for its nurseries and flower-gardens ; 
indeed, " Brompton, with its two centuries of nursery- 
garden fame," writes Mr, John Timbs, "lasted to 
our times ; southward, among ' the groves,' were 
the ' Florida,' the ' Hoop and Toy,' and other 
taverns, with tea-gardens attached ; there still 
(1866) remains the ' Swan,' with its bowling-green." 
At the commencement of the present century the 
" village " of Brompton was considerably increased 
by building, and became nominally divided into 
two parts, termed Old and New Brompton. The 
latter division of the hamlet chiefly consisted of 
rows of houses crowded together more closely than 
was perhaps desirable. " Old Brompton," writes 
the author of the " Beauties of England and Wales," 
m 1816, "still retains a similitude of rural aspect, 
and is yet celebrated for well-cultivated nursery and 
garden grounds. In this part of the village," con- 
tinues the writer, " are many handsome detached 
houses ; and here is likewise a domestic building, 
of comparative antiquity, which requires notice. 

This is termed Hale House, but is often called 
Cromwell House, and is traditionally said to have 
been the residence of Oliver Cromwell. But for 
such a tradition there appears no sort of authority. 
Mr. Lysons* shows that this house was the property 
of the Methwold family during Cromwell's time ; 
and the same writer observes that ' if there are any 
grounds for the tradition, it may be that Henry 
Cromwell occupied the house before he went out 
to Ireland the second time.'- It appears from the 
register of this parish that ' Mr. Henry Cromwell 
and Elizabeth Russell 'were married on the loth 
of May, 1653 ; and it may be observed that 
General Lambert, an eminent supporter of the 
Cromwell family, is known to have possessed a 
residence near Earl's Court. Hale House is now 
divided into two parts, each of which is occupied 
by a separate family. William Methwold, Esq., 
who died possessed of the above house in 1652, 
founded, near his residence, an almshouse for six 
poor women." 

Mr. H. G. Davis, writing on tlie subject of 
Cromwell House in Notes and Queries, gives the 

♦ " Enyirons of London," vol. ii., p. 507. 

West Crompton.] 



following version of the story as that which he 
had ahvays heard : — " That on some occasion 
Cromwell's troop was quartered at Knightsbridge, 
and he one day venturing to stray along the lanes of 
Brompton, was met by some cavaliers who knew 
him, and pursued him to this house, where he was 
sheltered till assistance came from Knightsbridge 
and liberated him." Faulkner, in his " History of 
Kensington," describing this house, says : " Over 
the mantelpiece there is a recess, formed by the 
curve of the chimney, in which it is said that the 
Protector used to conceal himself when he visited 
this house ; but why his Highness chose this place 
for concealment the tradition has not condescended 
to inform us. This recess is concealed by the 
wainscot, and is still used as a cupboard." Mr. 
Faulkner then goes on to state that, though the 
tradition is " very strong and universal," all docu- 
ments he has consulted " seem to show that there 
is not the least foundation for this conjecture;" 
and presumes " from the marriage of Henry Crom- 
well having taken place in this parish, that he 
resided here ; " and hence the whole of the story. 
Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall, mentioning the tradition 
in her " Pilgrimages to English Shrines," says : — 
" Upon closer investigation how grieved we have 
been to discover the truth. . . . We found 
that Oliver never resided there, but that his son 
Richard had, and was a ratepayer to the parish of 
Kensington some time." Even this latter state- 
ment is doubted, for, according to Dr. Rimbault, it 
is not recorded in the parochial books. Dr. Rim- 
bault, in Notes and Queries, states that " the house 
was known as Hale House in 1596, when a rent- 
charge of 20s. per annum was laid upon it for the 
poor of Kensington parish. In 1630 it was pur- 
chased by William Methwold, Esq., of the executors 
of Sir William Blake, who died in that year. This 
gentleman seems to have been its constant occu- 
pant till the period of his death, which occurred in 
1652. He is described of Hale House in his will. 
On May 10, 1653, immediately after his return 
from Ireland, 'Mr. Henry Cromwell was. married 
to Elizabeth Russell, daughter of Sir Thomas 
Russell,' at Kensington Church ; after which, ac- 
cording to Noble, ' he chiefly resided at Whitehall.' 
In the following year (1654) he returned to Ireland, 
and upon his taking leave of that kingdom, he 
retired to Spinney Abbey, near Soham, in Cam- 
bridgeshire, where he died in 1673. The chances 
of Henry Cromwell having resided at Hale House 
are, therefore, but slender. In 1668 Hale House 
appears to have been inhabited by the LawTences, 
of Shurdington, in Gloucestershire; in 1682 it w^as 
in the occupation of Francis Lord Howard of 

Effingham, the birth of whose son is thus recorded 
in the parish registers: — 'July 7, 1682. The 
j^Qj-^ue Thomas Howard, son of the R* Honour- 
able Francis, L'^ Howard, Baron of Efifingham, 
and the Lady Philadelphia, was born at Hale 
House, in this parish.' Hale House was still the 
property of the Methwold family, who, in 1754, 
sold it to John Fleming, Esq., afterwards created a 
baronet; and in 1790 it was the joint property of 
the Earl of Harrington and Sir Richard Worsley, 
Bart., who married his daughters and co-heirs." 
Such is the brief history of the proprietors and 
inhabitants of Cromwell House. It was a pleasant 
rural seat in 1794, when Edmund Burke's only and 
beloved son died there of a rapid consumption a 
few days after his election to Parliament. The 
father's hopes were blasted by the blow, and his 
own death followed within two years. The house 
itself was pulled down about the year 1853, to 
make room for new improvements. The site of 
its grounds is now marked by part of Cromwell 

Brompton is briefly dispatched by Priscilla 
Wakefield with the remark that " it is a hamlet 
to Kensington, and has been much recommended 
to invalids for the softness of the air." An exten- 
sive botanical garden, containing also a botanical 
library, was established here by a Mr. Curtis, in the 
reign of George III., and was supported by sub- 
scriptions for many years.* 

What with its nurseries, its groves, and its 
pleasant detached mansions or cottages, standing 
apart in their oavti grounds, this neighbourhood, 
down to very recent times, presented much of the 
appearance of a suburban retreat. 

Thistle Grove, a turning out of the Fulham 
Road, nearly opposite the " Queen's Elm " Hotel, 
covers the site of what was known a century or 
more ago as " Brompton Heath." Here lived Mr. 
John Burke, the author of the " Peerage " and the 
" Commoners " of England. On the west side of 
Thistle Grove is "The Boltons," a sort of park, 
comprising two neat-built rows of houses on either 
side of an oval-shaped inclosure, in which stands 
St. Mary's Church, a handsome Gothic edifice. 

Further westward is the Westminster and "W^est 
of London Cemetery. It covers about forty acres 
of ground, and wvis consecrated in 1840. It has 
a domed chapel, with semi-circular colonnades 
of imposing design. In the grounds is a large 
monument, consisting of an altar-tomb, with athlete 
figures, and a pompous epitaph, to the memory of 
Jackson, the prize-fighter, who kept the "Cock" 

* See page 88, ante. 



[West Brompton. 

Inn, at Sutton, near Epsom, from which he retired 
with a fortune, having obtained the patronage of 
George Prince of Wales and many leaders of the 
sporting world. Sir Roderick Murchison, the 
eminent geologist, lies buried here. 

Brompton Hall, the residence of the great Lord 
Burleigh, which stood near Earl's Court, is de- 
scribed by Faulkner as retaining at that time (1829) 
some marks of its ancient splendour. " There was 

Mr. J. R. Blanche was living in Brompton 
Crescent about the year 1826 ; and near him, in 
Brompton Grove (now covered by the houses of 
Ovington Square), lived William Jerdan, the editor 
of the Literary Gazette in its palmy days. At 
their houses Mr. T. Crofton Croker, Tom Hood, 
the Rev. Dr. Croly, Miss Landon (the unfortunate 
"L, E. L."), used to meet constantly, to discuss 
the last new play or poem, and literary subjects in 



till lately," adds the author, " a grand porch at the 
entrance. The hall, or saloon, is a step lower than 
the rooms upon the same floor. The dining-room 
has a richly-carved ceiling of oak, displaying in the 
centre the rose and crown, and in its other com- 
partments the fleur-de-lys and portcullis ; and on 
taking down some ancient tapestry a few years 
since, the arms of Queen Elizabeth, carved in oak, 
and curiously inlaid with gold, were discovered 
above the chimney-piece. There are also in another 
room the relics of a very curious old wainscot, in 
jmall compartments." 

In St. Michael's Grove lived Douglas Jcrrold ; 
md it was in his house that Charles Dickens first 
made his acquaintance, in or about 1835, when 
staying at home invalided. 

general. Jerdan died in June, 1869, at the age of 
eighty-eight, nearly twenty years after resigning his 
editorial chair. His Autobiography, published in 
four volumes, contains many pleasant notices of his 
contemporaries. In Brompton Grove, too, lived 
Major Shadwell Clarke, the hospitable friend at 
whose table Theodore Hook was an ever welcome 
guest, and where he dined the last time that he 
ever left his house. 

In Lower Grove, Brompton, lived and died the 
antiquary, John Sidney Hawkins, the eldest son 
of Sir John Hawkins, Dr. Johnson's friend and 
biographer. He died about the year 1836, at an 
advanced age. He published several works on 
architectural subjects. 

At Gloucester Lodge, was living, in 1809, George 





[South Kensington. 


Canning, when he fought the duel with his col- 
league, Lord Castlereagh, and both before and 
during his premiership. INIr. Rush, in his " Court 
of London," gives us many accounts of his official 
interviews with Mr. Canning here, and also of 
his dinner parties, at which he met all that was 
illustrious and brilliant in the society of the time. 
While residing here, too, at a later date, Canning's 
son, the future Governor-General of India, was 
born ; and here he received several visits from 
the Princess of Wales, whose cause he so nobly 
and honourably espoused. 

On the north side of the Fulham Road, near 
Pelham Crescent, is the Hospital for Consumption. 
It is a beautiful Elizabethan structure, comprising 
a centre and wings, the width of the building being 
about 200 feet. It stands on a square piece of 
ground, about three acres in extent. The founda- 
tion-stone of the hospital was laid by the late 
Prince Consort in 1S41. The main building 
accommodates 210 in-poitients ; and with the view 
of extending the operations of the charity, the 
committee have recently, in addition, fitted up four 
houses (opposite the hospital), which they have 
opened as the " South Branch," for the reception 
of male patients, thus increasing the accommoda- 
tion for in-patients to nearly 250 beds, all of which 
are constantly in use. Applicants whilst waiting 
admission are also received at the " Home " in 
Smith Street, Chelsea. Some thousands of out- 
patients are also always under treatment. This 
hospital receives patients from all parts of the 
kingdom, and is almost entirely dependent on 
voluntary contributions, the expenditure being 
about ;2{^9,coo a year more than the fixed annual 
income. In 1849 the chapel of the hospital was 
founded by the Rev. Sir Henry Foulis, Bart., 
in memory of a near relative of the founder. This 
edifice consists of a nave, north and south tran- 
septal projections, and chancel. The interior 
fittings of the nave are divided into classes, the 
first two rows of seats eastward being appropriated 
to the committee of management and officers of 
the institution. The next seats are for patients in 
a very weak condition, and requiring the greatest 
degree of ease ; these sittings are therefore sepa- 
rated by arms. The next sittings are still wide, 
and the backs far apart, but without arms ; the last 
seats, up to the west wall, are of the ordinary 
dimensions of the open seats in churches, for those 
patients who may be recovering, and who may 
shortly leave the institution. The whole of the 
interior fittings are of oak, some bearing the arms 
and crest of the founder. The chapel is ap- 
proached from the hospital by a corridor, so that 

the patients may not be exposed to external air in 
bad weather. 

On the opposite side of the road is another of 
those excellent institutions which minister to the 
most formidable " ills that flesh is heir to." This 
is the !Cancer Hospital. The building, which was 
founded in 1851, is constructed of plain white 
Suffolk bricks, relieved with bands of red bricks, 
and keystones and cornices of terra-cotta. The 
principal ground floor, approached by a flight of 
steps, contains the hall and a handsome stone 
staircase, apartments for the house surgeon and 
medical officers, and wards for patients. Appa- 
ratus for heating and ventilating the building is 
provided — everything, in short, that is calculated 
to add to the comforts and assist the recovery of 
the patients. The late Archbishop of Canterbury, 
preaching on behalf of the funds of this hospital, 
observed, " There is no disease more pitiable than 
that to which this institution is specially devoted. 
This, therefore, is a case in which I may justly ask 
your liberal contributions, that the relief afforded 
by this hospital may more nearly approach the 
amount of misery it endeavours to remove." 

Large property round about this neighbourhood 
belongs to Lord Onslow's family; Onslow Square 
is so named in consequence, and Cranley Place is 
so called after the second title of Lord Onslow. 

In Pelham Crescent, died, in 1869, aged seventy- 
four, I^Ir. Robert Keeley, the comic actor. Hard 
by, in Onslow Square, at No. ^6, Thackeray was 
living in 1858, when he stood his unsuccessful 
contest for Oxford city, and when he commenced 
the editorship of the Cornhill Magazine. 

Eagle Lodge was at one time tenanted by I\Ir. 
Bunn, so well known as the lessee of Drury Lane 
Theati-e. Here he used to entertain Malibran, 
Thalberg, De Beriot, I\Ir. J. R. Blanche', and other 
friends of music and the drama, 

Thurloe Place and Thurloe Square, near the 
junction of the Fulham, Cromwell, and Brompton 
Roads, are of too modern a growth to have any 
historic associations. Cromwell Road, a long and 
open thoroughfare, extending from Thurloe Square 
westward to Earl's Court, was doubtless so named 
after tke Cromwellian associations connected with 
the neighbourhood, as described above. At the 
eastern end of the road, a considerable space of 
ground lying between it and the gardens of the 
Royal Horticultural Society, was the site of the 
International Exhibition of 1862. The site was 
purchased by the Royal Commissioners of the 
Exhibition of 185 1, with a portion of the surplus 
money arising from the receipts of that exhibition. 
The edifice, which was altogether different from its 

South Kensington.] 



predecessor in Hyde Park, was built from the 
designs of Captain Fowke, R.E. It was con- 
structed chiefly of brick, and the ground plan in 
its general form was that of the letter L, the short 
limb being the annexe for the machinery in motion. 
It consisted of a nave and two transepts, each 
point of intersection at the extremities of the nave 
being marked by a polygonal hall, surmounted by 
an immense dome. The southern fagade ran along 
the Cromwell Road, and the building had also a 
frontage on the east in the Exhibition Road, and on 
the west in Prince Albert's Road (now Queen's Gate). 
Between this and the Horticultural Society's boun- 
dary was a semi-detached portion of the building, 
comprising the departments for implements and 
machinery in motion, extending over an entrance by 
a covered way or bridge, so that this section was 
kept entirely separate from the main body of the 
building. Its entire length was only about 1,150 
feet, or 700 feet shorter than its crystal prototype 
in Hyde Park. The external appearance of the 
structure was not very striking. It was massive ; 
but its unbroken length left a feeling of painful 
monotony on the observer, which the enormous 
domes at either end, 260 feet in height and 160 
feet in diameter, failed to vary. Almost in the 
centre of this mass of brickwork was the grand 
entrance or portico, built according to an Italian 
plan. The picture-galleries occupied the first 
compartment in the front portion of the building, 
facing the Cromwell Road, and were two in 
number: they were lighted by clerestory windows 
in the roof, and formed perhaps the most attractive 
feature of the Exhibition. The basement storey 
of this part of the building was devoted to the 
exhibition of carriages, carts, and other descriptions 
of road vehicles. Adjoining the picture-gallery, but 
on the ground floor, was a large space, upwards 
of 1,000 feet in length, glazed from end to end, 
which was devoted to manufactures and art pro- 
ductions from every country in the world. Ad- 
vancing across this court, the nave was reached ; 
this extended the whole length of the building, and 
was 80 feet in width, or eight feet wider than that 
of the Crystal Palace of 1S51. The nave was 
100 feet high, and was crossed at its extremities by 
two transepts, each 692 feet long by 85 feet in 
width, and 100 feet high, resembling the nave in 
the last two respects. At each of the points of 
their intersection with the nave, rose octagonal 
halls 160 feet in diameter, each surmounted by a 
magnificent glass dome 200 feet in height internally, 
and 250 feet externally, reaching to the top of 
the pinnacle. These were the largest domes ever 
built; St. Paul's being only 108 feet in diameter at 

the base, St. Peter's at Rome being 139 feet, and 
that of the British Museum reading-room 140 feet. 
The floors of these dome-covered halls being raised 
sixteen feet above the floor of the rest of the nave 
and transepts, afforded an admirable opportunity 
to the spectator for taking in grand views of the 
main lines of the building. The extreme ends 
of the building presented an extraordinary and 
beautiful appearance when viewed from the floors 
of these halls. At the angles of these halls were 
staircases, communicating with the galleries of the 
main building. On the side walls beneath the roof 
of the nave and transept were the clerestory win- 
dows, twenty-five feet high, of iron and glass, very 
light and elegant, which, together with the light 
from the glass domes, brought out in soft relief the 
architectural and artistic decorations. The nave 
and transepts were roofed in with wood, coated 
with felt, meeting in an angle at the centre ; this 
roof was supported by semi-circular arches of 
timber, springing from iron columns, in pairs, by 
which the roof was supported at a height of sixty 
feet from the floor. A very pleasing effect was 
produced by the combination of the circular ribs 
and the angular girders carrying the roof; these 
double columns, girders and ribs, were repeated 
sixteen times in the nave, and their decorations 
produced fine polychromatic effects. The couJ> 
(Vixil standing under either of the domes, and 
looking down the nave, was one of unequalled 
beauty ; the fine proportions of the columns made 
the immense vista appear as if looking along a kind 
of iron lace-work. The columns supported on 
each side of the nave galleries fifty feet in width, 
one side commanding a view of the nave, and the 
other looking upon the industrial courts on the 
ground floor. 

The principal entrance, in the Exhibition Road, 
was situated in the centre of the eastern transept, 
and led directly to the orchestra erected for the 
opening ceremony, under the eastern dome, which 
took place on the ist of May, 1862. Space will 
not permit us to do more than notice a few of the 
most important objects here brought together. In 
the centre of the nave stood a trophy of small arms 
by the Birmingham gunmakers, flanked on either 
side by an Armstrong and a Whitworth gun. The 
Armstrong was mounted on its carriage of polished 
wood, and presented in every detail the delicate 
finish of a trinket. Indeed, the Exhibition seems 
CO have been rich in the display of these mar- 
vellous weapons. Elaborate fountains and trophies 
of a more peaceful kind — such as articles of food, 
and animal and vegetable substances employed 
in manufacture, together with others of different 



[South Kensington. 

manufactured articles — made up the miscellaneous 
collection. Dividing the British from the foreign 
portion of the nave was a huge screen in iron-work 
of elaborate design. At this end of the nave were 
some noble groups of bronze statues from various 
countries, and some magnificent candelabra and 
columns in polished jasper and porphyry from 
Russia. A very fine collection of Berlin porcelain 
manufactures was placed on raised counters under 
the western dome. Sevres, Vienna, Berlin, and 
Dresden made great efforts to recover their lost 
ground in their previous competitions with the 
English porcelain manufacturers. The attractions 
of the western dome balanced very fairly the 
features of interest at the other end of the building. 
The central object was a circular stand, displaying 
the Prince of Prussia's collection of China, all of 
Berlin manufacture, which rivals the richest and 
most delicate Sevres. An adjacent parterre was 
appropriated to the exhibition of the silver objects 
presented by the City of Berlin to the Princess of 
Prussia as a wedding gift. The great Koh-i-noor 
diamond was placed in the English portion of the 
nave near the jewellery classes, and created, 
doubtless, as much interest as it occasioned in 
185 1, Her Majesty's magnificent dessert service 
of Worcester porcelain was exhibited near here : it 
is said to eclipse the finest specimen that Sevres, 
Dresden, or Vienna have yet produced. 

That this second International Exhibition was 
a success no one will pretend to say ; it is enough 
to admit that with the first great gathering in 1S51 
the charm of novelty was worn off, and that even 
the lapse of eleven years was not sufficient to cause 
a repetition of that great influx of visitors to 
London from every part of the civilised world^ 
which we have already noticed. 

Although the building was so substantially con- 
structed, it was not destined to remain standing in 
its entirety long after the closing of the Exhibition 
in October. Piece by piece it gradually disap- 
peared, till only the inner portion, which had served 
chiefly as refreshment departments, overlooking the 
gardens, was left ; and this part has since been 
made to serve various purposes. 

In 1870 it was announced that a series of annual 
International Exhibitions should be held here, 
commencing from the following year (187 1), under 
the direction of Her Majesty's Commissioners for 
the Exhibition of 185 1. Hitherto, as we learn 
from the official announcement of this series of 
exhibitions, the exhibition of works of Fine Art had 
been too much limited to the display of pictures 
and sculpture, dissociated from purposes of utility; 
and it might be doubted whether a picture on 

enamel or on pottery, destined to be applied to a 
piece of furniture, or a sculpture in wood intended 
for a picture-frame, however great its merits, would 
find any place in the Exhibitions of the Royal 
Academy of London, or in any of the numerous 
other exhibitions of the works of artists. Still 
less would a Cashmere shawl or a Persian carpet, 
the chief excellence of which depended upon its 
combination of colours, find in any of these exhi- 
bitions its proper place. Such a complete separa- 
tion of artistic work from objects of utility might 
indeed be said to be only the characteristic of 
modern times ; for in the ancient and mediaeval 
periods the highest art is to be found in alliance 
with the meanest materials of manufacture. The 
Etruscans painted on vases of clay subjects which 
still charm us by their beauty of composition and 
skilful drawing ; and the finest works of Raffaele 
were designed as decorations for hangings to be 
made of wool. It was intended that these exhi- 
bitions should furnish the opportunity of stimulating 
the revival of the application of the artist's talents 
to give beauty and refinement to every description 
of objects of utility, whether domestic or monu- 
mental. In these annual Exhibitions it was con- 
tended that every work in which Fine Art is a 
dominant feature would find proper provision made 
for its display. Painting, on whatever surface, or 
in any method ; sculpture in every description of 
material, engravings of all kinds, architectural design 
as a Fine Art, every description of textile fabric 
of which Fine Art is a characteristic feature — in 
short, every work, whether of utility or pleasure, 
which is entitled to be considered a work of 
excellence from the artistic point of view, might 
be displayed in the exhibitions under the division 
of Fine Art. The industrial portion of these exhi- 
bitions was to be confined to educational works 
and appliances, and new inventions and scientific 
discoveries. Every artist-workman, moreover, it was 
stated, would be able to exhibit a work of merit 
as his own production, and every manufacturer 
might distinguish himself as a patron of art by 
his alliance with the artistic talent of the country. 
In the Fine Art section the artist might exhibit a 
vase f@r its beauty of painting, or form, or artistic 
invention ; whilst a similar vase might appear in its 
appropriate place among manufactures on account 
of its cheapness, or the novelty of its material. 

It was arranged that these annual Exhibitions 
should take place in permanent buildings erected 
on either side of the Horticultural Gardens, con- 
necting that part of the building of 1862 which 
remained standing with a new and lofty structure, 
on the north side of the gardens, called tlie Royal 

South Kensington.] 



Albert Hall, of which we shall have more to say- 
presently. On the south side of the Albert Hall, 
and facing the gardens, is the splendid conservatory 
of the Royal Horticultural Society, and at each 
end are long curved arcades, named respectively 
the East and West Quadrants. Flanking these, and 
enclosing the gardens, are the buildings in which 
the principal part of the Exhibition was held. 
They consist of lower and upper galleries, about 
550 feet long and twenty feet wide, with corridors 
open to the gardens. The lower storeys have side 
lights ; the upper are lighted from the roof. The 
whole of the Exhibition buildings are in the Deco- 
rated Italian style, and harmonise well with the 
adjacent South Kensington Museum. The mould- 
ings, cornices, and courses are in light-coloured 
terra-cotta, and red brick is the material used in 
the construction. 

The first of these annual Exhibitions was held in 
187 1, and, in addition to the two permanent features 
mentioned above, included woollen and worsted 
manufactures, pottery, and educational apparatus. 
These were replaced in 1S72 by cotton and cotton 
fabrics ; jewellery, including articles worn as per- 
sonal ornaments, made of precious metals, precious 
stones, or their imitations ; musical instruments of 
all kinds; acoustic apparatus and experiments; 
paper, stationery, and printing. These various 
classes comprised also the raw materials, machinery, 
and processes used in their production. 

The third Exhibition of the series, held in 1873, 
comprehended several classes of subjects not in- 
cluded in the displays of the two previous years. 
The fine arts, scientific inventions and discoveries, 
and galleries of painting and sculpture by British 
and foreign artists, continued as special features of 
the Exhibition, as before ; but this year visitors 
were enabled to add to the knowledge they had 
gained of the processes employed in one great 
department of the textile manufactures which forms 
so important a part of our national industry, an 
acquaintance with the mode of producing the 
beautiful fabrics silk and velvet. Cutlery and edged 
tools, for which this country has been fomous for 
centuries, were exhibited. Fine-art furniture and 
decorative work, and stained glass — not entirely 
absent from the previous Exhibitions, but appearing 
there in a subordinate position — had now more 
justice afforded to their claims on our attention ; 
and one most important class — substances used for 
food, including the science of economical and 
thoroughly good cookery — was elaborately and 
scientifically, yet familiarly and intelligibly, illus- 
trated. In connection with this valuable depart- 
ment of this year's Exliibition was a collection of 

drinking cups and glasses ; and — certainly a per- 
fectly novel feature, though to many persons one 
of the most attractive in the Exhibition — a col- 
lection of pipes, from the lordly and highly 
ornamented hookah, to the humbler but favourite 
articles made of meerschaum, briar-wood, and primi- 
tive clay. 

The manufactures selected for the fourth Exhi- 
bition, which was opened in the year 1874, were 
lace, the show of which was magnificent ; civil 
engineering, architecture, and building, including 
sanitary apparatus and constructions on the one 
hand, and decorative woork on the other ; heating 
by all methods and every kind of fuel, selected in 
consequence of the high price of coal and the 
necessity for teaching economy in the combustion 
of fuel ; leather and saddlery, harness, and other 
articles made of leather ; bookbinding ; and foreign 

One novel feature in the Exhibition of 1873 
was a school cf cookery, where lectures were de- 
livered and admirably illustrated by the practical 
experiments of neat-handed cooks. Ladies, natu- 
rally, formed a large portion of the audience, and 
Her Majesty and other members of the Royal 
Family did not fail to give the sanction of their 
presence to these novel lectures. The building 
used for these lectures was, in 1874, placed at the 
service of the new Training School Committee, by 
whom the work was carried on. 

Whether these Annual International Exhibitions 
were successful or not in imparting that knowledge 
as to the best means employed in various arts and 
trades, and the best results achieved, we will not 
pretend to say. They were not, however, suffi- 
ciently attractive to the masses of the people to 
warrant their continuance year after year, and with 
the Exhibition of 1874 the series terminated, and 
the various buildings were set apart for other pur- 
poses. In one series of rooms are now (1876) 
exhibited models of school-buildings and examples 
of school-fittings, and of books and apparatus used 
in elementary instruction. There are also scientific 
apparatus, models of machinery, and other appli- 
ances adapted for technical education. Then, 
again, there are rooms in which are displayed an 
interesting collection of models of modern guns 
and small arms, lent by the War Department, &c. 
Passing up stairs, the visitor enters a long gallery, 
lighted on the north side by windows overlooking 
the Horticultural Gardens. This is the National 
Portrait Gallery, which was originally established 
in Great George Street, Westminster, in 1859. It 
is a most interesting collection, from an artistic as 
well as an historic j>oint of view, and embraces the 



[South Kensingtoil. 

•' counterfeit presentment " of many of England's 
greatest worthies, whether as sovereigns, statesmen, 
warriors, poets, authors, &c. Here are the famous 
Chandos portrait of Shakespeare, several of Queen 
Elizabeth, and between three and four hundred 
likenesses of some of the most remarkable men 
and women in English history, many of them 
executed by the first painters of the periods. Be- 
sides the portraits, there are a few highly interesting 

looking the gardens on the eastern side was made, 
in 1875, the receptacle of the Indian Museum. 
This collection of objects was originally formed by 
the East India Company, and after its removal 
from Leadenhall Street, was for a time stowed 
away in Whitehall Yard, and in various cellars and 
warerooms, and in the topmost storey of the new 
India Office. In the lower gallery are arranged 
the vegetable products, agricultural implements, 


casts of effigies from monuments in Westminster 
Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral, and other places; 
and also an interesting collection of autographs. 

In 1868 was deposited in the building the Mey- 
rick collection of arms and armour, from Goodrich 
Court, Herefordshire, formed by the late Sir Samuel 
Meyrick, the author of "A Critical Inquiry into 
Ancient Armour," and lent to the Museum by its 
then owner. Colonel T^Ieyrick. It was arranged 
for exhibition here by Mr. J. R. Planche. The 
collection of naval models, and of the munitions 
of war, lent by the War Department, and on view 
here, contains examples of British ship-building, 
Trom the earliest period down to the construction 
of the turret-ship of the ill-fated Captain Coles. 

That portion of the Exhibition galleries over- 

models, and domestic appliances, illustrative of 
native life and habits, together with some interest- 
ing specimens of the zoology of India. The upper 
gallery contains the art manufactures and ornitho- 
logical collections. In these rooms were deposited 
for exhibition the numerous costly presents brought 
from India by the Prince of Wales after his tour in 
that country in 1875-6. 

On the opposite side of the Exhibition Road, 
and with its principal entrance in Cromwell Road, 
is the South Kensington Museum, together with 
the various Science and Art Schools which have 
been established; under Government, in connection 

This Museum, which now contains upwards of 
20,000 rare and choice examples of Mediaeval and 

South Kensington.] 






[South Kensington. 

Modern Art workmanship, originated in the year 
1852 with a small collection, exhibited in Marl- 
borough House in connection with the Schools 
of Art. In 1857 the collection was transferred 
hither to some temporary iron buildings which had 
been erected for its reception, which, from their 
material, and from some peculiarities of construc- 
tion, became popularly known as the "Brompton 
Boilers." These temporary buildings have been 
gradually replaced by a permanent edifice. From 
the year 1853 the Museum has included objects 
contributed on loan by private owners. In 1862 — 
the year of the second International Exhibition — a 
special "loan exhibition" of works, chiefly of 
Mediaeval and Renaissance Art, was held here; 
and since that time the number of objects on loan 
has always been considerable. By this means very 
many of the- rarest and most precious examples 
of art workmanship in this country have been 
generously permitted by their owners to be seen 
and leisurely studied by the public. In addition 
to the " loans," many objects have been acquired 
by purchase, gift, and bequest; besides Avhich are 
reproductions, by the electrotype process and in 
plaster, of objects in other collections which have 
been judged to be of special interest and value to 
the art student. 

The plan of the Museum is somewliat irregular, 
and covers a large space of ground — about twelve 
acres in extent — acquired by the Government, at 
a cost of ;j^6o,ooo, being a portion of the estate 
purchased by Her Majesty's Commissioners for the 
Exhibition of 185 1, out of the surplus proceeds of 
that undertaking. The buildings, with their courts 
and galleries, are constructed chiefly of brick, some- 
what profusely ornamented with terra-cotta, and 
were built from the designs of Captain Fowke, 
R.E. The art collections are chiefly contained in 
tliree large courts and a long range of cloisters on 
the ground floor; but many rare and valuable 
objects are shown in the picture-galleries, and also 
in what is called the Prince Consort Gallery. Tlie 
visitor, on enteiing the Museum from the Cromwell 
Road, passes through a long corridor to the South 
Court, a lofty and spacious building, surrounded 
with galleries, and rich in ornamentation. The 
upper portion of the walls is divided into thirty- 
six alcoves (eighteen on cither side), containing 
portraits, in mosaic, of eminent men of all ages 
connected with the arts, especially those who have 
been distinguished as ornamentalists, or as workers 
in bronze, marble, or pottery. These portraits, 
which include such men as Phidias, the sculptor 
of the Elgin marbles, William of Wykeham, Dona- 
tello, Torrigiano, Albert Diirer, Michael 'Angelo, 

Titian, Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Mul- 
ready, are from designs by some of the first artists 
of the day. This court is divided into two parts 
by a broad passage which crosses it, above which 
is the Prince Consort Gallery above mentioned. 
It would be impossible to give, within the limits at 
our disposal, a list of the various objects here exhi- 
bited, and indeed such a task would be needless, 
as they are all detailed in the various catalogues 
sold at the Museum ; suffice it to say that here 
are deposited the numerous and costly objects 
comprising the " Loan Collections," together with 
a miscellaneous assortment of art manufactures. 
The valuable collection of books, engravings, &c., 
bequeathed to the Museum by the Rev. Alexander 
Dyce, is deposited in two rooms adjoining this 
court. The " Oriental Courts," appropriately deco- 
rated by Mr. Owen Jones, contain some examples 
of the art workmanship of the East Indies, China, 
Japan, Persia, &c. On the south side of the South 
Court is the entrance to the New Court. This is 
the largest of the three courts, and is divided by a 
central passage and gallery. The majority of the 
objects it contains are full-size reproductions (in 
plaster) of architectural works of large dimensions, 
designed for erection in the open air, or in large 
halls or churches, including the famous Trajan 
Column at Rome, and the '"Prentice Pillar" in 
Roslin Chapel, Scotland ; there is also a full-size 
copy (by photography) of the Bayeux Tapestry, 
coloured in imitation of the original needlework. 

The North Court is specially appropriated to the 
exhibition of Italian sculpture, and architectural 
models and casts. Many of the most beautiful of 
these objects are, so to speak, incorporated into the 
building, the decoration of which is much simpler 
than that of the South Court. In the east arcade 
of this court are some textile or woven fabrics, of 
European origin, including several ecclesiastical 
vestments and rare fragments of mediaeval em- 
broidery. Through the window-s of the north 
arcade is seen the " fernery," which was designed 
to enable the students in training as art-teachers 
to draw from plants at all seasons. A considerable 
portion of the west arcade forms the reading-room 
of the A'rt Library. The staircase leading to the 
galleries is lighted by a large stained-glass window, 
the subject of which was suggested by a passage 
in Ecclesiasticus, chapter xxxviii., descriptive of 
trades. The keramic, or pottery gallery, contains 
a large collection of Wedgwood's jasper and other 
wares, and also examples of the porcelain of Bow, 
Chelsea, Bristol, Plymouth, Worcester, and Derby. 
Here, too, are represented the great manufacturers 
of pottery of the present day in Italy, France, and 


South Kensington.] 



England. The next gallery into which the visitor 
passes contains a collection of Venetian, German, 
and other ancient glass vessels. In the Prince 
Consort Gallery are placed many of the most 
interesting and costly possessions of the Museum, 
in enamel, gold, and silversmith's work, jewellery, 
watches, clocks, &c. 

Three staircases in different parts of the building 
lead to the Picture Galleries, which are above the 
cloisters of the North and South Courts. Several 
rooms or galleries are devoted to the National 
Collection of Pictures by British artists. Critical 
notices of many of the paintings here exhibited will 
be found in Redgrave's " Century of British Art." 
In the north gallery are hung the Raphael cartoons. 
From the authorised " Guide to the Museum " we 
glean the following particulars concerning these j 
celebrated productions. They are drawn with chalk 
upon strong paper, and coloured in distemper, and 
are the original designs, executed by Raphael and 
his scholars for Pope Leo X,, in the year 15 13, as 
copies for tapestry work. Each cartoon is about 
twelve feet high. They were originally ten, but 
three are lost — viz., " The Stoning of St. Stephen," 
the "Conversion of St. Paul," and "St. Paul in 
his Dungeon at Philippi." A copy in tapestry of 
Christ's " Charge to Peter " is hung opposite the 
original cartoon ; and also a tapestry from the 
Imperial manufactory, the Gobelins, at Paris, a 
copy of the "Holy Family" by Raphael in the 

The tapestries, worked in wool, silk, and gold, 
were hung in the Sistine Chapel at Rome in the 
year 1519, the year before Raphael died. These 
are now in the Vatican. 

The cartoons remained neglected in the ware- 
house of the manufacturer at Arras, and were seen 
there by Rubens, who advised Charles I. to pur- 
chase them for the use of a tapestry manufactory 
which was then established at Mortlake. On the 
death of Charles I., Cromwell bought them for 
^300 for the nation. They remained for a long 
time in a lumber-room at Whitehall, till, by com- 
mand of William III., Sir Christopher Wren erected 
a room for them at Hampton Court, in which they 
hung till Her Majesty permitted them to be re- 
moved hither. 

Passing through the door at the east end of the 
gallery, we enter the rooms containing the Sheep- 
shanks' Collection of Paintings. A bust, by Foley, 
of the late John Sheepshanks, the donor of the 
pictures, has been placed in this gallery by Miss 
Sheepshanks. The Ellison Gallery of Water- 
colour Drawings is next entered, after which 
we pass into another gallery, in which is displayed 

the Museum and Loan Collections of Ancient 
and Modern Jewellery. This exhibition of jewel- 
lery and personal ornaments, which was opened 
here in 1872, is of very great interest. Her 
Majesty has contributed two objects, one of which 
is perhaps more valuable for its historical authen- 
ticity than for its beauty of design : it was the 
celebrated Darnley jewel, made for Lady Margaret 
Douglas, mother of Darnley, about 1576. The 
sapphire, which occupies the centre of a star 
belonging to Lady Cork, is said to be the identical 
one originally belonging to Queen Elizabeth, which 
was conveyed by Robert Gary, who rode with it to 
Scotland, presenting it to James VI. as a token of 
her death. Lady Fitzhardinge lent the enamelled 
gold-bound prayer-book which Elizabeth wore at 
her girdle, and which contains the young King 
Edward's last prayer, written, it is believed, in 
Elizabeth's own hand. In 1865, the Department 
of Science and Art, with the aid of a committee of 
noblemen and gentlemen, known as the hereditary 
possessors of works in miniature, or as connoisseurs 
and collectors, organised here a Collection of 
Miniatures, including more than 3,000 examples of 
the highest interest in enamel, oil, and water-colour, 
chalk and pencil, by the leading miniaturists from 
the sixteenth century down to the present time, 
embracing almost every notable figure in the social, 
political, and literary life of England from the 
reign of Elizabeth, and throwing light, in a variety 
of ways, upon the manners, family history, the 
relations of parties and persons, the scandals, 
friendships, and fashions, which make up the raw 
material of the canvas on which the historian works 
his larger pictures. We cannot do more than 
mention two or three of the most interesting 
miniatures here brought together, such, for in- 
stance, as the portrait of Charles I., set in the 
King's hair, dipped in blood on the scaffold, an 
heirloom in the Shelley family, and which belonged 
to John Winckley, executed at Lancaster Castle 
v.'ith the Earl of Derwentwater, after the rising of 
17 15. On the back of this relic are engraved the 
names of the family who rose again for the Stuarts 
in 1745. Against this we may set the miniature, 
after Cooper, in enamel, of Cromwell, presented 
by him to his daughter, Bridget Cromwell, on 
her marriage with General Ireton, and a number 
of other authentic portraits of the Protector, in- 
cluding the Crewe one, left by Sir Joshua Reynolds 
to Burke. Here, lent by Miss Ouvry, was the 
miniature of Emma, Lady Hamilton, taken from 
the neck of Nelson after his death. Again, side 
by side, from the hand of the same painter, Isabey, 
hung-Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, con- 


[South Kensington. 

tributed by Lord Cowley; while a little further 
on are the portraits of Louis Napoleon and the 
Empress Eugenie, presented to Lord Cowley by 
the Emperor, in commemoration of the Congress 
of Paris in 1S56. Captain Dawson Damer lent 
a curious series of records, from the hand of 
Cosway, of an ill-fated and ill-requited attachment 
— portraits of Mrs. Fitzherbert and the Prince 
Regent, and the wedding ring of the former, with 
the name " George Augustus Frederick " engraved 
within the hoop. 

The Museum of Patents, adjoining the South 
Courtj is a collection illustrative of the progress of 
national invention, and contains not only models, 
but several original machines which have been the 
means of developing our prosperity, and have 
given new life to the w^orld. As examples may be 
mentioned the first steam-engine to which James 
Watt applied his condenser; the first locomotive, 
" Puffing Billy," and its successor, George Stephen- 
son's "Rocket;" the first engine ever used in 
steam navigation, the first Bramah's press, and 
many other pieces of mechanism of not less his- 
torical value. 

On the v.-est side of tlie main buildings of the 
Museum, facing the Exhibition Road, is a large 
edifice, containing class-rooms for instruction in 
various branches of science. This structure was 
built on the site of the " International Bazaar," a 
building which was constructed in 1862, and filled 
with a choice selection of works by persons whose 
application for space in the Exhibition could not 
be complied with. The Art Schools extend along 
the north side of the Museum, and have separate 
apartments for male and female students. 

The Science and Art Department is a division 
of the Education Department, under the direction 
of the Lord President of the Council and the 
Vice-President of the Committee of Council on 
Education. It was established in 1852. A sum 
of money is voted annually by Parliament, in aid 
of local efforts to promote science and art applied 
to productive industry, such efforts originating 
with the localities. Payments are made upon 
results of instruction in science and art, as tested 
by examination by properly-appointed officials. 
The National Art Training School was established 
for the purpose of training art-masters and mis- 
tresses for the United Kingdom, and for the 
instruction of students in designing, &c., to which 
male and female students are admitted when pro- 
perly qualified, receiving an allowance in aid of 
their maintenance, which is proportioned to their 
attainments, and to their qualification for the duties 
of teaching required from them. When such 

students have obtained certificates of qualification, 
they may be appointed teachers to the local Schools 
of Art throughout the United Kingdom. The 
object of the Science Schools and Classes is to 
promote instruction in science, especially among 
the industrial classes, in such subjects as Mathe- 
matics, Geometry, Naval Architecture, Mechanics, 
Chemistry, Botany, and the like. The assistance 
granted by the Science and Art Department to 
that end is in the form of public examinations, in 
which Queen's medals and Queen's prizes are 
awarded ; payments on the results of examination 
and on attendance ; scholarships and exhibitions ; 
building grants ; grants towards the purchase of 
apparatus, &c., and supplementary grants in certain » 
subjects; and special aid to teachers and students. 
The sum voted by Parliament, for the year 1 87 6-7, 
for the Science and Art Department, amounted 
to nearly ;^3oo,ooo. The department, it may 
be added, has the advantage of the services of 
gentlemen of the highest standing in their several 
professions, as examiners both for Science and Art 
Schools, and as official referees for the purchases 
made for the collections. 

The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences, to 
which we now pass, owes its origin to the fund, 
which was raised in 1862, for the purpose of 
erecting in Hyde Park the national memorial to 
the late Prince Consort, which we have already 
described. With every desire that this recognition 
of the debt which English art, science, and industry 
owed to the Prince should be, in every sense of the 
word, such a memorial as the country itself pre- 
ferred, the Queen requested a committee of gentle- 
men to suggest the form which the testimonial should 
assume. After deliberating upon the matter, the 
committee recommended the erection of a personal 
memorial to the Prince Consort in Hyde Park, 
opposite to what was best known as the Central 
Hall of Arts and Sciences. . Naturally enough, it 
was expected that large subscriptions would flow in 
towards the object in view. These expectations 
were not fully realised, the amount subscribed at 
that period being less than ;^7 0,000. To this 
sum Parliament added ^50,000 ; and with the 
;^ 1 20,000 thus obtained it was resolved to place 
in Hyde Park tlie monument of which we have 
spoken. Further efforts were yet to be made, and 
in these the Prince of Wales took the initiative. In 
the )'ear 1865 the Prince of Wales called together 
a number of gentlemen, who were asked and con- 
sented to become vice-patrons of the proposed 
memorial building. A statement of the intentions 
of the promoters of the undertaking was issued ; 
the Royal Commissioners of the Exhibition of 

South Kcasiiigton.] 


1 85 1 gave three acres of land as a site for the 
building, at the nominal rent of is. a year, on a 
long lease, and subscriptions came in towards the 
much-cherished object. A provisional committee, 
consisting of twelve members, was formed, of 
which the Prince of Wales was president. They 
held several meetings at INIarlborough House ; 
P^i 10,000 were soon subscribed; and there was 
every prospect of the intentions of the committee 
being quickly realised, when a sudden stop was 
put to the eftbrts of the promoters by the memo- 
rable panic of 1866. For a while all further 
proceedings ceased. In the plans of the proposed 
hall provision was made for a certain number of 
sittings; and at the beginning of the year 1867 
Messrs. Lucas, the great contractors, came for- 
ward, and consented to purchase sittings valued 
at ;^38,ooo, on tlic understanding that they should 
receive the contract for the building, the total cost 
of which was not to exceed ^^2 00, 000. These 
terms were agreed to by the provisional committee ; 
the public nobly came forward and subscribed 
;^ii2,ooo, the Royal Commissioners of the 1851 
Exhibition gave ;^5 0,000, Messrs. Lucas' propo- 
sition was worth ;^38,ooo ; and on the 20th of 
May, 1867, the Queen laid the foundation-stone 
of the building, the original plans for which came 
from the late Captain Fowke, R.E. ; Colonel Scott, 
R.E., being the architect. From that time the 
scheme was successful. A pardonable degree 
of curiosity was aroused respecting the ultimate 
destiny of the hall ; but this was set aside when it 
was announced that the new building was intended, 
amongst other things, to accommodate science 
congresses, to provide a suitable arena for musical 
performances, and to serve other equally useful 
artistic and scientific purposes. For this the 
building is admirably adapted, from the immense 
disposable space it offers. Between 6,000 and 
7,000 persons can be seated in the hall, and 
besides this, when the necessity arises, it is pos- 
sible to place as many as 2,000 spectators in com- 
fortable positions on an inclined staging in the 
picture-gallery, which runs nearly round the hall. 

Guided by the principles upon which the Romans 
constructed those amphitheatric buildings, the re- 
mains of which strike modern spectators with awe 
and admiration, the designers of the Albert Hall 
have succeeded in raising a structure of eminently 
beautiful and attractive proportions. Seen from 
the Park or the Kensington Road, the hall stands 
boldly out in all the magnificence which invests a 
building in the style of Italian Renaissance. The 
base is of plain red brick, with single-headed win- 
dows, the keystone of which is formed of the crown 

and cushion and the letter "V,," above which the 
principal floor is divided by terra-cotta pilasters, 
between which are semicircular-headed windows. 
An idea of the vast character of the building may 
be obtained from the knowledge that 70,000 blocks 
of terra-cotta were used in its construction. The 
frieze, Avhich is about 800 feet long and about 
6 feet Avide, was made in sections of 50 feet, of 
encaustic tesserce, by Messrs. Minton and Co., 
who employed in its working the female students 
of the School of Art at Kensington. Above 
these is the entablature, having a widely-project- 
ing balcony four feet across. Surrounding the 
building, and high above the balcony, is mosaic 
work, representing various allegories descriptive of 
the arts, commerce, and manufactures. These 
mosaics arc from the designs of Messrs. Horsley, 
Armitage, Yeames, Marks, Poynter, Pickersgill, and 
Armstead. Round the frieze of the building nms 
the following inscription in large letters : — " This 
hall was erected for the advancement of the arts 
and sciences, and for the works of industry of all 
nations, in fulfilment of the intentions of Albert, 
Prince Consort. The site was purchased by the 
proceeds of the Great Exhibition of the year 185 1. 
The first stone of the hall was laid by Her Majesty 
Queen Victoria, on the 20th day of May, 1867, and 
it was opened by Her Majesty the Queen, on the 
29th day of March, in the year 187 1." 

Above the frieze, in terra-cotta, in letters a foot 
high, is the sacred text : " Thine, O Lord, is the 
greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the 
victory, and the majesty : for all that is in the 
heaven and in the earth is Thine. The wise and 
their works are in the hand of God. Glory be to 
God on high, and on earth peace." 

In the plan of the interior, it can be seen at once 
that the architect has taken for his model the old 
Roman amphitheatre, though with such important 
modifications as, happily, quite another kind of 
entertainment, and, unhappily, less genial skies, 
required. Roman plebeians and aristocrats were 
mere spectators, looking down on the fierce and 
bloody spectacles provided for their amusement in 
the arena. Here it was necessary so to provide 
that people might both hear and see, but above all 
things hear. Such a condition gives the key to the 
arrangement of the interior. Imagine, then, within 
aa outer shell of staircases, corridors, refreshment 
and retiring rooms, a vast hall, in shape of a 
graceful oval, of which the southern end is all but 
filled by the organ and an orchestra rising upwards 
in tiers of seats. Fronting this orchestra is the 
auditorium, of horse-shoe form, composed of arena 
a level space ; the amphitheatre, or, as it might be 



[South Kensington. 

better termed, the stalls, sloping upwards towards 
the boxes ; three tiers of boxes ; above them the 
balcony; and lastly, above it, what is called the 
picture-gallery. This gallery is not within the 
proper limits of the ellipse forming the interior, but 
is built over the staircases and corridors which form 
an outer zone to the portions of the auditorium 
below. It runs, therefore, round the whole of the 

^loo ; a loggia box, holding eight persons, ;^8oo • 
a box on the grand tier, with ten places, ;^i,ooo3 
and one with five places on the second tier, ^500. 
Thus the unit of ^^100 is taken as the cost per 
seat in each case. The subscription season is 
rather a long one — 999 years. 

One of the most striking features in the interior 
is the organ, which stands in the centre of the 


interior ; and the thirty Italian arches, with their 
scagliola pillars, through which the body of the hall 
is seen, are really its great ornament. 

The boxes and balcony project from the wall into 
the ellipse, each tier extending three feet beyond 
that above it. Such an arrangement enables the 
occupants of each tier to see without much diffi- 
culty, and be seen by those above them. One of 
the most remarkable features of the hall, in fact, is 
the perfect view of the interior, and of all within 
it, which can be had from any point. The boxes 
and stalls were taken by subscription. One of the 
latter, comprising the right to a revolving chair, like 
a music stool with arms^ in the amphitheatre, cost 

orchestra, supported by a framework of the lightest 
and simplest kind, itself its only ornament. It is 
said to be the largest organ in the world, and was 
constructed by Mr. Henry Willis, the builder of 
the organ, at St. George's Hall, Liverpool. Some 
idea of the size of the instrument may be formed 
when we say that it contains about 1 20 registers, 
about 8,000 pipes, distributed over four manuals 
and a pedal organ. The pipes vary in length from 
about thirty-four feet to three-quar.ters of an inch. 
The only organ in England which approaches it in 
size is that at the Alexandra Palace, built by the 
same maker; and it is about double the size of 
the fine organ of St. Paul's Cathedral. In this 

South Kensington.] 



organ the builder, for the first time, made use of 
pneumatic tubes for the connection of the manuals 
and pedals with pipes at a distance, instead of the 
old long tracker movement ; and it is probable 
that this invention will, in the course of time, cause 
important changes in the construction of such 
gigantic instruments. With its vistas of polished 
pipes of all sizes, some of them gleaming like 
silver, the organ arrests the eye at once on entering 

feet, the shorter length is i8o feet, and there is a 
distance of 140 feet between the floor of the arena 
and the dome. 

Since the day of the opening of the hall by 
Her Majesty, when the orchestra was occupied by 
1,200 instrumentalists and vocalists, concerts on 
a grand and extensive scale have been the chief 
use to which the building has been put ; and it 
was also used for part of the display in the annual 


the building ; and when one hears that the motive 
power is supplied by two steam-engines, one might 
be led to expect such a volume of sound as would 
almost blow the roof off 

The lighting of the hall is a novelty in itself 
Thirty gold-coloured chandeliers, one in each arch, 
surround the picture-gallery, each having fifteen 
lights. There is a third ring of sixty chandeliers, 
with twenty-one lights each ; and altogether there 
are nearly 7,000 gas jets^ which can all be lit by 
electricity in ten seconds. 

The spaces over the porches on the east and 
west sides of the hall have been in each case 
arranged as a lecture theatre, having a raised floor, 
with a platform or stage, and holding about 200 
people. At its widest part the hall measures 200 

mdustrial Exhibitions of 187 1-4. The grandest 
scenes, perhaps, which have taken place within its 
walls were on the occasions of the state concerts 
given in honour of the visits to England of the 
Shah of Persia, the Czar of Russia, &c. ; another 
brilliant ceremony witnessed here was the in- 
stallation of the Prince of Wales as Grand jNIaster 
of the Lodge of Freemasons of England. 

Close by the Royal Albert Hall, on a plot of 
ground granted by the Commissioners of the Ex- 
hibition of 185 1, is the National Training School 
for Music, of which the Duke of Edinburgh was 
chosen the first president. The building was con 
structed in 1875, at the cost of Mr. Charles James 
Freake. The Council of the Society of Arts under- 
took the supervision of the foundation of scholar- 



[South Kensington. 

ships, and through the strenuous exertions of its 
officers a very considerable amount of interest has 
been created throughout the country. In all parts 
of the United Kingdom local committees have 
been or are being formed, to promote the establish- 
ment of musical scholarships for five years, and the 
increasing number of such scholarships throughout 
the country testifies to the public appreciation of 
the scheme, and affords a guarantee of success. 
Each scholarship is of the value of ^40 per year 
for five years, and can be held only by persons 
who shall have been successful in a competitive 

The Royal Horticultural Society, whose gardens, 
as we have already stated, are enclosed by the 
Exhibition buildings on the south side of the Royal 
Albert Hall, was estabUshed in 1804, and incorpo- 
rated by royal charter soon afterwards. The society 
was instituted for the improvement of horticulture 
in all its branches, and it has an extensive experi- 
mental garden at Chiswick, five miles from London, 
laid out tastefully, and filled with many rare plants. 
These gardens have acquired great celebrity from 
their having been established at a period when 
gardening was in a very low condition in this 
country, and from having been the means of 
raising it to its present greatly-improved state. 
Previously to purchasing the land at Chiswick, 
the Horticultural Society had temporarily occupied 
a small piece of ground at Brompton, not far from 
the gardens which we are about to notice. At 
the meetings of this society communications on 
subjects pertaining to horticulture are read ; the 
most remarkable produce of the gardens of the 
society is exhibited ; fruits, flowers, and vegetables 
sent for exhibition are displayed, and prizes are 
awarded to the most meritorious cultivators. In 
1859 the society obtained (through the late Prince 
Consort) possession of about twenty acres of land 
on this site, and new and splendid gardens were 
laid out. These were opened in the summer of 
1862, forming a charming retreat from the bustle 
of the Exhibition. 

Between the Kensington Road and Cromwell 
Road the ground falls about forty feet, and using 

this fact in aid of a general effect, the ground has 
been divided into three principal levels. The 
entrances to the gardens are on the lower level 
in Exhibition Road and Queen's Gate, and the 
central pathway, upwards of seventy-five feet wide, 
ascending through terraces to the third great level, 
leads to the winter garden or conservatory. The 
whole garden is surrounded by Italian arcades, each 
of the three levels having arcades of a difterent 
character. The upper, or north arcade, where the 
boundary is semi-circular in form, is a modification 
of the arcades of the Villa Albani at Rome. The 
central arcade is almost wholly of Milanese brick- 
work, interspersed with terra-cotta, majolica, &c., 
while the design for the south arcade has been 
adapted from the beautiful cloisters of St. John 
Lateran at Rome. None of these arcades are less 
than twenty feet wide and twenty-five feet high, and 
they give a promenade, sheltered from all weathers, 
more than three-quarters of a mile in length. The 
arcades and earthworks were executed by the Com- 
missioners for the Exhibition of 1851, at a cost of 
^^50,000, while the laying-out of the gardens and 
construction of the conservatory were executed by 
the Horticultural Society, and cost about the same 
sum. On the upper terrace, in front of the conser- 
vatory, and at the head of a lake, stands a memorial 
of the late Prince Consort, the work of Mr. Joseph 
Durham, sculptor, originally intended only to com- 
memorate the International Exhibition of 1851. 
The death of the Prince having occurred before 
the work was completed, the memorial was made 
into a lasting tribute for the " great founder of the 
Exhibition." The idea embodied is Britannia 
(typified by the Prince) supported by the four 
quarters of the globe — signifying that the Exhi- 
bition originated in England, and was supported by 
all other nations. The monument stands upwards 
of forty feet in height, and represents the Prince 
in his robes as Grand Master of the Order of the 
Bath. The body of the memorial is of grey granite, 
with columns and panels of red polished Aberdeen 
granite ; the statue of the Prince, and also those of 
the figures representing each quarter of the globe, 
being of bronze. 





" When shall we walk to Totnam, or crosse o'er 
The water? or take coach to Kensington 
Or Paddington ? or to some one or other 
O' th' City out-leaps for an afternoon?" 

Broiiie's "New Academy" (a play), 1658. 

Descent of the Manor— A Parochial Enigma— Derivation of the Name of Kensington — Thackeray's "Esmond" — Leigh Hunt's Reminiscences- 
Gore House — Mr. Wilberforce, the Philanthropist — Lord Rodney — The Countess of Blessington and her Admirers — An Anecdote of Louis 
Napoleon— Count D'Orsay's Picture — A Touching Incident — Sale of the Contents of Gore House, and Death of the Countess of Blessington 
— M. Soyer's "Symposium" — Sale of the Gore House Estate — Park House— Hamilton Lodge, the Residence of John Wilkes— Hatty's 
Hippodrome"-St. Stephen's Church — Orford Lodge— Christ Church. 

Kensington, which is technically described as a 
suburb of London, in the Hundred of Ossulston, 
has long enjoyed distinction from its Palace, in 
which several successive sovereigns of the Hano- 
verian line held their court, and which was the 
birth-place of Queen Victoria. In the time of the 
Domesday survey the manor of Kensington was 
owned by the Bishop of Coutances, to whom it was 
granted by William the Conqueror. It was at that 
time held by Aubrey de Vere, and subsequently, as 
history tells us, it became the absolute property of 
the De Veres, who afterwards gave twenty Earls of 
Oxford to the English peerage. Aubrey de Vere 

was Grand Justiciary of England, and was created 
Earl of Oxford by the Empress Maud. Upon the 
attainder of John, Earl of Oxford, who was be- 
headed during the struggle for power between the 
houses of York and Lancaster, the manor was 
bestowed by Edward IV. on his brother Richard, 
'Duke of Gloucester. After passing through the 
hands of the Marquis of Berkeley and Sir Reginald 
Bray, the property returned (as is supposed by 
purchase) to John, Earl of Oxford, son of the 
attainted nobleman above mentioned. The manor 
is said to have again passed from that family, pro- 
bably by sale, in the reign of Elizabeth ; and early 




in the seventeenth century the Earl of Argyll and 
three other persons joined in a conveyance of the 
property to Sir Walter Cope, whose daughter con- 
veyed it by marriage to Henry Rich, Earl of 
Holland. The manor subsequently passed into 
the hands of Lord Kensington, who was maternally 
descended from Robert Rich, last Earl of Warwick 
and Holland, and whose barony, singularly enough, 
is an Irisi\ one, although the title is derived from 
this place. 

Parochially considered, Kensington is somewhat 
of an enigma, for it is not only more than Ken- 
sington in some places, but it is not Kensington 
itself in others. In Kensington parish, for in- 
stance, are included Earl's Court, Little Chelsea, 
Old and New Brompton, Kensal Green, and even 
some of the houses in Sloane Street ; while, on the 
other hand, Kensington Palace and Kensington 
Gardens are not in Kensington, but in the parish 
of St. Margaret's, Westminster. 

The place, which now forms, as it were, part 
and parcel of London, was down to comparatively 
recent times a village, one mile and a half from 
Hyde Park Corner. The name is stated by some 
topographers to be derived from Koennigston, or 
from the Saxon Kyni?ig's-t\xn, a term synonymous 
with King's End Town, and to be the same word 
as Kennington and Kingston ; our monarchs from 
the earliest date having had residences at all three 
places. Possibly, however, the " Ken " may be an 
equivalent to " Kaen," or " Caen," which lies at 
the root of " Kentish " Town, " Caen-wood," &c. ; 
but we will leave the origin of the name to be 
discussed by antiquaries, and pass on to a survey 
of the district in detail. 

"Whatever was the origin of its name," writes 
Leigh Hunt, in the " Old Court Suburb," " there 
is no doubt that the first inhabited spot of Ken- 
sington was an inclosure from the great Middlesex 
forest which once occupied this side of London, 
and which extended northwards as far as Barnet." 
Kensington has been always a favourite, not only 
with royalty, but with those who more or less bask 
in the sunshine of princes — poets, painters, &c. 
The healthfulness and fashion of the place attracted 
numerous families of distinction ; and its import- 
ance was completed when William HI. bought the 
house and grounds of the Finch family (Earls of 
Nottingham), and converted the former into a* 
palace, and the latter into royal gardens. It is 
emphatically "the old Court suburb," and is 
familiar to all readers of Thackeray, who has por- 
trayed its features in many of his writings, especially 
in " Esmond." Leigh Hunt observes that " there 
is not a step of the way, from its commencement 

at Kensington Gore to its termination beyond 
Holland House, in which you are not greeted with 
the face of some pleasant memory. Here, to 
' minds' eyes ' conversant witli local biography, 
stands a beauty looking out of a window ; there, 
a wit talking with other wits at a garden-gate; 
there, a poet on the green sward, glad to get out of 
the London smoke and find himself among trees. 
Here come De Veres of the times of old ; Hollands 
and Davenants, of the Stuart and Cromwell times ; . 
Evelyn, peering about him soberly, and Samuel 
Pepys in a bustle. Here advance Prior, Swift, 
Arbuthnot, Gay, Sir Isaac Newton ; Steele, from 
visiting Addison ; Walpole, from visiting the Foxes ; 
Johnson, from a dinner with Elphinstone ; 'Junius,' 
from a communication with Wilkes. Here, in his 
carriage, is King William III. going from the palace 
to open Parliament ; Queen Anne, for the same pur- 
pose ; George I. and George II. (we shall have the 
pleasure of looking at all these personages a little 
more closely) ; and there, from out of Kensington 
Gardens, conies bursting, as if the whole recorded 
polite world were in flower at one and the same 
period, all the fashion of the gayest times of those 
sovereigns, blooming with chintzes, full-blown with 
hoop-petticoats, towering with topknots and toupees. 
Here comes ' Lady Mary,' quizzing everybody ; 
and Lady Suffolk, looking discreet ; there, the 
lovely Bellendens and Lepels ; there. Miss Howe, 
laughing with Nancy Lowther (who made her very 
grave afterwards) ; there Chesterfield, Hanbury 
Williams, Lord Hervey ; Miss Chudleigh, not over 
clothed ; the Miss Gunnings, drawing crowds of 
admirers ; and here is George Selwyn, interchanging 
wit with my Lady Townshend, the ' Lady Bellaston ' 
(so, at least, it has been said) of 'Tom Jones.'" 
Probably there is not an old house in Kensington 
in which some distinguished person has not lived, 
during the reigns in which the Court resided there j 
but the houses themselves are, as Leigh Hunt puts 
it, " but dry bones, unless invested with interests of 
flesh and blood." 

The Royal Albert Hall and the gardens of the 
Horticultural Society occupy the site of Gore House 
and grounds. This is probably the estate called 
the Gara, or the Gare, which Herbert, Abbot of 
Westminster, gave to the nuns of Kilburn. The 
sjjot was, according to John Timbs, anciently called 
Kyng's Gore. Old Gore House was a low, plain, 
and unpretending building, painted white, and 
abutted on the roadway, about 150 yards to the 
east of the chief public entrance to the Albert Hall. 
Its external beauty, if it had any, belonged to its 
southern, or garden side. Standing close to the 
roadside, it looked as if meant originally for the 




jlodge of some great mansion which had never 
actually been built : and the row, of which it formed 
a part, as Leigh Hunt observes, in his " Old Court 
Suburb," might easily lead one to imagine that it 
had been divided into apartments for the retainers 
of the Court, and that either a supernumerary set of 
maids of honour had lived there, or else that some 
four or five younger brothers of lords of the bed- 
chamber had been the occupants, and expecting 
,places in reversion. " The two houses," adds the 
writer, " seem to be nothing but one large drawing- 
room. They possess, however, parlours and second 
storeys at the back, and they have good gardens, so 
that, what with their flowers behind them, the park 
in front, and their own neatness and elegance, the 
miniature aristocracy of their appearance is not ill 
borne out." 

Here, for the best part of half a century, distin- 
guished statesmen and philanthropists, and after- 
wards the light and frivolous butterflies of West-end 
society, used to mix with men of letters and the 
votaries of science. Here the " lions " of the day 
were entertained from time to time ; and there 
were few houses to which the entree was more 
coveted. At the end of the last century it was 
little more than a cottage, with a pleasant garden 
in the rear attached to it, and it was tenanted by 
a Government contractor, who does not seem to 
have cared to go to any expense in keeping it in 
order. Early in the present century it was en- 
larged on coming into the possession of Mr. Wil- 
berforce, who soon grew very fond of the spot, and 
here used to entertain Mr. Pitt, Lord Auckland 
(who lived hard by), and such eminent philan- 
thropists as Clarkson, Stephen, Zachary Macaulay, 
and Romilly ; indeed, it has often been said that 
the agitation which ended in the abolition of West 
Indian slavery was commenced in the library of 
Gore House. Of this place Mr. Wilberforce often 
speaks in his private correspondence ; and in one 
place he mentions his riis in urbc in the following 
terms: — "We are just one mile from the turnpike 
at Hyde Park Corner, having about three acres of 
pleasure-ground around our house, or rather behind 
it, and several old trees, walnut and mulberry, of 
thick foliage. I can sit and read under their 
shade with as much admiration of the beauties of 
Nature as if I were down in Yorkshire, or anywhere 
else 200 miles from the great city." Here, too, 
his four sons, including the future Bishop of Oxford 
and of Winchester, were mainly brought up in their 
childhood and boyhood ; and in the later years of 
its hospitable owner's life it is on record that " its 
costliness made him at times uneasy, lest it should 
force him to curtail his charities," a thing which he 

was ahvays most anxious to avoid. Mrs. Wilber- 
force supported in this mansion a school for poor 
girls, which was under her own personal superin- 
tendence. At Gore House the gallant admiral. 
Lord Rodney, was for some time " laid up in port." 

Mr. Wilberforce having occupied the house for 
thirteen years, from 1808 down to 1821, it next 
passed into the hands of a new meditator, but 
not so much on the beauties of nature as on those 
of art and literature — one who was more spirituelle 
in salofis, that " spiritual " in Wilberforce's sense of 
the term — the "gorgeous" Countess of Blessington 
became in turn its proprietor. She lived here 
during her widowhood, surrounded by a bright and 
fashionable crowd of aristocratic and literary ad- 
mirers. Gore House became indeed a centre of 
attraction to the world of letters ; for besides giving 
such dinners as Dr. Johnson would have thought 
" worth being asked to," Lady Blessington prided 
herself on her success in "bringing people together," 
in order to please and be pleased in turn. Here 
were such men of the last generation as Lord 
Melbourne, the poet Campbell, Samuel Rogers, 
and many of the beaux of " the Regency " and of 
the reign of George IV., including Count D'Orsay, 
who married Lady Blessington's daughter, and made 
the house his home. 

"At Gore House," writes Mr. Blanchard Jer- 
rold, " Prince Louis Napoleon met most of the 
intellectual society of the time, and became the 
friend of Count D'Orsay, Sir E. Lytton Bulwer, 
Sir Henry Holland, Albany Fonblanque, and many 
others who formed Lady Blessington's circle." 
The Prince dined at Gore House with a small 
party of West-end friends and acquaintances, in- 
cluding Lord Nugent and " Poodle " Byng, on 
the evening before he started off on his wild and 
abortive eftbrt to make a descent on Boulogne in 
August, 1840. "It was the fashion in that day," 
says Mr. Blanche, in his " Recollections," " to 
wear black satin handkerchiefs for evening dress ; 
and that of the Prince was fastened by a large 
spread eagle in diamonds, clutching a thunderbolt 
of rubies. There was in England at that time 
but one man who, without the impeachment of 
coxcombry, could have sported so magnificent a 
jewel ; and though to my knowledge I had never 
seen him before, I felt convinced that he could be 
no other than Prince Louis Napoleon. Such was 
the fact. . . . There was a general conversation on 
indifferent matters for some twenty minutes, during 
which the Prince spoke but little, and then took 
his departure with Count Montholon. Shortly 
afterwards, Lord Nugent, Mr. Byng, and I, said 
good night, and walked townward together. As 




we went along, one of my companions said to the 
other, 'What could Louis Napoleon mean by 
asking us to dine with him at the Tuileries on 
this day twelve months ? ' Four days afterwards 
the question was answered. The news arrived of 
the abortive landing at Boulogne and the captivity 
of the Prince." On the first day after his escape 
from Ham (1846), and his arrival in London, Prince 
Louis Napoleon again dined here at a party, with 

establishments seldom equalled, and still more 
rarely surpassed, in all the appliances of a state of 
society brilliant in the highest degree ; but, alas ! it 
must be acknowledged, at the same time, a state 
of splendid misery for a great portion of that time 
to the mistress of those elegant and luxurious 
establishments. And now, at the end of that 
time, we find her forced to abandon that position, 
to leave all the elegancies and refinements of her 


Lady Blessington, Count D'Orsay, Walter Savage 
Landor, Mr. John Forster, &c., whom he amused 
by recounting his recent adventure in detail. 

Mr. Madden, in his " Life and Correspondence 
of the Countess of Blessington," says : — " For 
nineteen years Lady Blessington had maintained, 
at first in Seamore Place, and afterwards at Ken- 
sington, a position almost queen-like in the world 
of intellectual distinction, in fashionable literary 
society, reigning over the best circles of London 
celebrities, and reckoning among her admiring 
friends, and the frequenters of her salons, the most 
eminent men of England in every walk of litera- 
ture, art, and science, in statesmanship, in the 
military profession, and in every learned pursuit. 
For nineteen years she had maintained in London 

home to become the property of strangers, and in 
fact to make a departure' from the scene of all her 
former triumphs, with a pri\-acy which must have 
been most painful and humiliating." 

Count D'Orsay painted a large garden view of 
Gore House, with portraits of the Duke of Wel- 
lington, Lords Chesterfield, Douro, and Brougham, 
Sir E. Landseer, the INIiss Powers, and other 
members of the fashionable circle that gathered 
there. " In the foreground, to the right," says a 
description of the picture, "are the great Duke 
and Lady Blessington ; in the centre, Sir E. Land- 
seer, seated, in the act of sketching a fine cow, with 
a calf by her side ; Count D'Orsay himself, with 
two favourite dogs, is seen on the right of the 
group, rand Lord Chesterfield on the left ; nearer 




the house are the two .Miss Powers (nieces of and Albert Smith and Thackerav, Charles Dickens 

Lady Blessington), reading a letter, a gentleman and ^Vliliam Jerdan, Mr. iMonckton j\Iilnes Mr 

walking behind. Further to the left are Lord A. Baillie Cochrane, Mr. N. P. Willis the Coimtess 

Brougham, Lord Douro, &c., seated under a tree, Guiccioli (Byron's chere ame), Lords Brougham 

engaged m conversation." Lyndhurst, and Chesterfield, and all the ''other 


Mr. ]\Iadden, in his book above quoted, gives 
tis anecdotes of, or letters from, most of the visitors 
•at Gore House when it was in its prime. Thomas 
Moore, who sang so touchingly as to unlock the 
fount of tears in the drawing-room, was often 
there; so were Horace and James Smith, the 
authors of the "Rejected Addresses;" so was Sir 
Henry Lytton Bulwer and his brother, the late 
Lord Lytton. Walter Savage Landor would repair 
thither, with his stern eyebrows and kindly heart ; 

celebrities, who, being added up together into one 
sum, made up, what Joseph Hume would have 
styled, the " tottle of the whole" of the Gore 
House circle. Mr, N. P. Willis thus records an 
incident during an evening here : — " We all sat 
round the piano, and, after two or three songs 
of Lady Blessington's choosing, INIoore rambled 
over the keys awhile, and then sang ' When first I 
met thee,' with a pathos that beggars description. 
When the last word had faltered out. he rose and 



took Lady Blessington's hand, said good-night, and 
A\aS gone before a word was uttered. ... I have 
heard of women fainting at a song of Moore's ; and 
if the burden of it answered by chance to a secret 
in the bosom of the hstener, I should think, from 
its comparative eftect upon so old a stager as 
myself, that the heart would break with it." 

Lady Blessington's " curiosities " and treasures — 
the contents of the once favourite mansion — were 
disposed of by auction in the summer of 1849; 
and she herself went off to Paris, to die in debt, 
and deserted by her butterfly admirers, but a few 
weeks afterwards. The contents of tlie mansion 
are thus described in the catalogue . of the sale : — 
"Costly and elegant eftects : comprising all the 
magnificent furniture, rare porcelain, sculpture in 
marble, bronzes, and an assemblage of objects of 
art and decoration ; a casket of valuable jewellery 
and bijouterie, services of rich chased silver and 
silver-gilt plate, a superbly-fitted silver dressing- 
case ; collection of ancient and modern pictures, 
including many portraits of distinguished persons, 
valuable original drawings, and fine engravings, 
framed and in portfolios ; the extensive and in- 
teresting library of books, comprising upwards of 
5,000 volumes, expensive table services of china 
and rich cut glass, and an infinity of useful and 
valuable articles. All the property of the Right 
Hon, the Countess of Blessington, retiring to the 

In 1 85 1, during the time of the Great Ex- 
hibition, Gore House was made a "Symposium," 
or restaurant, by M. Alexis Soyer, whose euisiiie, 
v/hilst chef of the Reform Club, enjoyed European 
fame.* Its walls were once more adorned with a 
splendour and costliness which it had not known 
for some years, though, possibly, not with equal 
taste as that which was so conspicuous under the 
regime of the clever and brilliant lady who had 
made it a home. Soyer first came to England on 
a visit to his brother, who was then cook to the 
Duke of Cambridge ; and at Cambridge House he 
cooked his first dinner in England for the then 
Prince George. Soyer afterwards entered the 
service of various noblemen : amongst others, of 
Lord Ailsa, Lord Panmure, &c. He then was 
employed by the Reform Club, and the breakfast 
given by that club, on the occasion of the Queen's 
coronation, obtained him high commendation. 
Mr. Mark Boyd, in his " Social Gleanings," tells a 
good story about M. Soyer. " Meeting him in an 
omnibus, after his return from the Crimea, I con- 
gratulated him on the laurels he had gained with 

♦ See Vo!. IV., p. 149. 

our army, and was anxious to learn how he hacT 
managed this under the privations to which our 
brave fellows were exposed from short rations,, 
and often from no rations at all ! ' Dere is my 
merit. Monsieur Boyd,' he replied, ' for I did 
make good dishes out of nothing.'" It is to be 
feared that his words were literally true. 

The Gore House estate, comprising some twenty- 
one acres, was purchased in 1852 by the Com- 
missioners of the Great Exhibition, out of the 
surplus fund of that Exhibition, for the sum of 
p^6o,ooo, as a site for a new National Gallery; 
and the Baron de Villars' estate, adjoining, nearly 
fifty acres, fronting the Brompton Road, was 
bought for ^153,500, as a site for a Museum 
of Manufactures ; " these localities being recom- 
mended for the dryness of the soil, and as the 
only ground safe for future years amidst the growth 
of the metropolis." On the latter site, as we have- 
shown in the previous chapter, the South Ken- 
sington Museum and the Schools of Art and 
Science have been erected ; but instead of the 
National Gallery, the ground at Kensington Gore 
was made to serve as the site for the Albert 
Hall, &c. 

Park House, at the eastern end of the Gore,, 
close by Prince's Gate, indicates the northern, 
boundary of the once famous Kensington or 
Brompton Park Nursery, which figures in the pages- 
of the Spectator as the establishment of Messrs. 
Loudon and Wise, the most celebrated gardener.'j 
of their time. Near to this was Noel House, so 
called from having been built by one of the 

Hamilton Lodge, Kensington Gore, was the- 
occasional residence of John Wilkes, who here 
entertained Counts Woronzow and Nesselrode, and 
Sir Philip Francis, the su^Dposed author of the 
" Letters of Junius." 

A little to the west of Kensington Gore, imme- 
diately oj^posite to the broad walk of Kensington 
Gardens, was, in 1 850-1, Batty's Grand National 
Hippodrome. Its site, which lies at the back of 
the Prince of ^y ales' Terrace, covering a consider- 
able space of ground between the two thorough- 
fares known as Palace Gate and Victoria Road, 
Avas for many years used as a riding school, but 
was ultimately given up for building purposes. 
Near the old turnpike, which stood a little west- 
ward of Gore House, was a small inn known as 
the halfway house between London and Hammer- 
smith. It was a curious and picturesque structure, 
but A\'as swept away about the year i860. 

Opposite Queen's Gate Gardens, and adjoining 
the Gloucester Road, on the west side of the 




Horticultural Gardens, is St. Stephen's Church, 
built in 1866, from the designs of Mr. Joseph 
Peacock, and is an architectural ornament to the 
neighbourhood. In this immediate locality was 
Orford Lodge, built on the site of the " Old Florida 
Tea Gardens," for the late Duchess of Gloucester, 
after whom Gloucester Road is named. The 
Lodge was subsequently tenanted by the Princess 
Sophia, and also by the Right Hon. George Can- 
ning, who was here visited by Queen Caroline, 
'i'he house was taken down in the year 1852. The 
thoroughfare which connected Chelsea with the 
great western road through the village between the 
Gore and Kensington Square rejoiced in the not 

very pleasant-sounding name of " Hogmire Lane " 
— a name, however, suggestive of farm-yards and 
piggeries, which then, doubtless, were plentiful in 
the neighbourhood. 

Christ Church, in the Victoria Road, is a neat 
edifice, of Gothic design, dating from the year 
185 1, and accommodating about Soo persons. 
All its seats are open. It was built from the 
designs of Mr. Benjamin Ferrey. The architecture 
is of the Decorated style, varying from geometrical 
to flowing. It comprises a nave and chancel, 
tower and spire. The windows throughout are of 
flowered quarries ; that at the east end is a rich 
diaper pattern, copied from one in York Minster. 


KENSINGTON (contiimed). 

" Fa'th, and it's the Old Courf Suburb that you spoke of, is it? Si:re, an" it's a mighty fine place for the qualitj-."— OA/ P/aj>. 

The Old Court Suburb— Pepys at " Kindly Kensington" — The High Street— Thackeray's " Esmond "—Palace Gate— Colby House— Singular 
Death — Kensington House : its Karly History — Famous Inhabitants — Old Kensington I'edlam— The New House — Young Street — Kensington 
Square — Famous Inhabitants— 'I'alleyrand— An -Aged Waltzer— Macaulay's Description of Talleyrand — The New Parish Church — The Old 
Huilding — The Monuments — The liclls— The Parish Registers — The Charity School — Campden House — "The Dogs "—Sir James Souths 
Observatory— .V Smgular Sale— Other Noted Residents at Kensington — Insecurity of the Kensington Road — A Remarkable Dramatic 
Performance— A Ghost Story— The Crippled Boys' Home— Scarsdale House— The Roman Catholic University College — Ronrtan Catholic 
Chapels — The Pro-Cathedral — The " Adam and Eve." 

Hitherto, since leaving the side of the river at 
Chelsea, we have been mostly passing over modern 
ground, which a century ago was scantily dotted 
with private residences, and which, therefore, can 
scarcely be expected as yet to have much of a past 
history. But now, as we look round the " Old 
Court Suburb " of Kensington, and its venerable 
and somewhat narrow High Street, we find our- 
■selves again confronted with houses and persons of 
an earlier era, and, consequently, we shall be able 
ito dwell at greater length on the annals and anec- 
dotes of which Kensington has been the scene. 
The Palace and the Church, of course, will form 
our central objects, to which, perhaps, we ought to 
add that old-world haunt of fashion, Kensington 
Scjuare. The old town of Kensington consisted 
principally of one long street, extending about 
three-quarters of a mile in length, from the Gore to 
Earl's Terrace ; but even that thoroughfare is of 
comparatively modern growth, for the only high- 
way for travellers westward, in former times, was 
the old Roman (or present Uxbridge) Road, then 
bending southerly (as it still branches) to Turnham 
Green. Within the last century a number of small 
■streets have been built on either side. Bowack, 
in his " History of Middlesex," thus describes the 
place in the middle of the last century : — " This 

town, standing in a wliolesome air, not above three 
miles from London, has ever been resorted to by 
persons of quality and citizens, and for many years 
past honoured with several fine seats belonging 
to the Earls of Nottingham and Warwick. ^Ve 
cannot, indeed, find it was ever taken notice of 
in history, except for the great western road 
through it, nor hath anything occurred in it that 
might perpetuate its name, till his late Majesty, 
King William, was pleased to ennoble it with his 
court and royal presence. Since which time it 
has flourished even almost beyond belief, and is 
inhabited by gentry and persons of note ; there is 
also abundance of shopkeepers, and all sorts of 
artificers in it, which makes it appear rather like 
part of London tlian a country village. It is, 
with its dependencies, about three times as big 
as Chelsea, in number of houses, and in summer 
time extremely filled with lodgers, for the pleasure 
of the air, walks, and gardens round it, to the 
great advantage of its inhabitants. The buildings 
are chiefly of brick, regular, and built into streets ; 
the largest is that through which the road lies, 
reclining back from the Queen's House, a con- 
siderable way beyond the church. From the 
church runs a row of buildings towards the north, 
called Church Lane; but the most beautiful part 





of it is the Square, south of the road, -which, 
for beauty of buildings, and worthy inhabitants, 
exceed several noted squares in London." 

Kensington — "kingly Kensington," as Dean 
Swift called it — is not very frequently mentioned 
by Pepys, as that country village had not, in his 
days, become the " court suburb. ' He mentions, 
however, accompanying "my lord" (the Earl of 
Sandwich) to dine at Kensington with Lord Camp- 
den, at Campden House, and afterwards to call at 
Holland House. With two other trivial exceptions, 
this is all that we learn about Kensington from the 
old gossip's "Diary;" neither does the place figure 
in the " Memoirs of the Count de Gramont." It is 
on record that George IL admired the Hat grounds 
of Kensington and Kew, as reminding him of 
"' Yarmany." It is described by Bowack, in 1705, 
as being about three times as big as Chelsea. 
The manor of Abbots' Kensington, which occu- 
pies an area of about 1,140 acres in all, extends 
northwards so far as to include all the Gravel Pits 
and Notting Hill. 

Although Kensington is so near London, and 
contains so many nev/ buildings, tlie High Street 
has a considerable resemblance to that of a country 
town. The houses, for the most part, are of mode- 
rate size, and considerable variety is displayed in 
the style of building, so that the fronts of scarcely 
any two houses are alike. Faulkner, writing in 
1S20, remarks: "The town, being in the direct 
road for the western parts of England, is in a con- 
siderable bustle, and resembles the most populous 
streets in London, especially in an evening, when 
the mail-coaches are setting out for their various 
destinations." The chief coaching-inn and posting- 
house, at that time, was the " Red Lion," at the 
back of which is still to be seen a curious sun-dial, 
bearing the date 17 13. Readers of Thackeray's 
" Esmond " will not have forgotten the picture he 
has given of the scene which might have been 
witnessed from the tavern at the corner of the 
old High Street, on the occasion of the accession 
of King George I. : — " Out of the window of the 
tavern, and looking over the garden wall, you 
can see the green before Kensington Palace, the 
palace gate (round which the ministers' coaches 
are standing), and the barrack building. As we 
weie looking out from this window in gloomy dis- 
traction, we heard presently the trumpets blowing, 
and some of us ran to the window of the front 
room looking into the High Street, and saw a regi- 
ment of horse coming. 'It's Ormond's Guards,' 
says one. ' No, by G — ; it's Argyle's old regi- 
ment !' says my general, clapping down his crutch. 
It was indeed Argyle's regiment that was brought 

up from Westminster, and that took the part of 
the regiment at Kensington." The sequel is soon 
told, and it shall here be told, in the words of 
"Esmond:" — "With some delays in procuring 
horses, we got to Hammersmith about four o'clock 
on Sunday morning, the ist of August (17 14), and 
half an hour after, it then being bright day, we 
rode by my Lady 'Warwick's house, and so down 
the street of Kensington. Early as the hour was, 
there was a bustle in the street, and many people 
moving to and fro. Round the gate leading to- 
the palace, where the guard is, there Avas especially 
a great crowd ; and the coach ahead of us stopped,, 
and the bishop's man got down, to know what the 
concourse meant. Then presently came out from 
the gate horse-guards with their trumpets, and a 
company of heralds with their tabards. The 
trumpets blew, and the herald-at-arms came for- 
ward, and proclaimed ' George, by the grace of 
God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, 
Defender of the Faith.' And the people shouted 
' God save the King ! " " Thus was the first sove- 
reign of the Hanoverian line proclaimed in the 
High Street of Kensington ; and there, with the 
sound of King George's trumj:)ets, were the last 
hopes of the Stuart line scattered to the winds of 
heaven. The spot where this proclamation took 
place is surely an object of historic interest to^ 
after ages. 

Almost at the entrance of the High Street is the 
Palace Gate, with its sentinels on duty, and oppo- 
site to it stood, till recently, a good, moderate- 
sized house — a sort of undergrown mansion — 
which, as Leigh Hunt says, looked as if it " had 
been made for some rich old bachelor who chose 
to live alone, but liked to have everything about 
him strong and safe." Such was probably the 
case, for it was called Colby House, and was the 
abode of Sir Thomas Colby, of whom Dr. King, 
tells us in his " Anecdotes of his Own Times," that 
l^eing worth ^200,000, and having no near relatives,, 
he met with his death by getting up from his warm 
bed on a winter night to fetch the key of his cellar, 
which he had forgotten, for fear his servant might 
help himself to a bottle of wine. The house was 
inhabited, when Faulkner wrote his " History of 
Kensington," by one of the leading magistrates of 
the count}^ Its former eccentric owner was buried- 
in the parish church. The house was standing till 
about 1872, when it was pulled down, along with 
the large red house, Kensington House, adjoining, 
to make a site for Baron Grant's mansion. 

Kensington House, a dull and heavy building of 
red brick on tlie south side of the high road, 
nearly facing the Palace gates, was for some years; 




inhabited by the notorious Duchess of Portsmouth, 
one of the many mistresses of Charles II. The 
house was long and low in proportion, and was 
screened from the road by a high wall. It is 
recorded that King Charles supped here the night 
before he was seized with the illness which proved 
his last. The house was afterwards turned into a 
•school, kept by Elpliinstone, who was known as 
the translator of Martial, and as a friend of Dr. 
Jortin, Benjamin Franklin, and Dr. Johnson. He 
was ludicrously caricatured by Smollett, in " Rode- 
rick Random,"' which was consequently a forbidden 
book in his school. At the outbreak of the first 
French Revolution the house was occupied by 
some French emigrant priests, members of the 
Jesuit Order, who kept here a college for the youth 
of the French and some of the English aristocracy, 
under the assumed name of " Les Fires de la Foi."' 
The late Mr. Richard Lalor Sheil was sent here 
when a boy, and he tells us how the school was 
visited by " Monsieur " — as Charles X., afterwards 
King of France, was then called — in his brother's 

The building has been described as follows by 
I\Ir. Sheil* : — " I landed at Bristol, and with a 
French clergyman, the Abbe' de Grimeau, who had 
been my tutor, I proceeded to London. The abbe 
informed me that I was to be sent to Kensington 
House, a college established by the Peres de la 
Foi — for so the French Jesuits settled in England 
at that time called themselves — and that he had 
•directions to leave me there upon his way to 
Languedoc, from whence he had been exiled in 
the Revolution, and to which he had been driven 
by the maladie de pays to return. Accordingly, we 
set off for Kensington House, which is situated 
exactly opposite the avenue leading to the palace, 
and has the beautiful garden attached to it in 
front. A large iron gate, wrought into rustic 
flowers, and other fantastic forms, showed that the 
Jesuit school had once been the residence of some 
person of distinction. ... It was a large old- 
jfashioned house, witli many remains of decayed 
splendour. In a beautiful walk of trees, which 
Tan down from the rear of the building through the 
play-ground, I saw several French boys playing at 
swing-swang ; and the moment I entered, my ears 
were filled with the shrill vociferations of some 
hundreds of little emigrants, who were engaged in 
their various amusements, and babbled, screamed, 
laughed, and shouted, in all the velocity of their 
rapid and joyous language, I did not hear a word 
of English, and at once perceived that I was as 

Quoted by Leigh Hunt, in "The Old Court Suburb." 

much amongst Frenchmen as if I had been sud- 
denly transferred to a Parisian college. Having 
got this peep at the gaiety of the school into 
winch I was to be introduced, I was Jed, with 
my companion, to a chamber covered with faded 
gilding, and which had once been richly tapestried, 
where I found the head of the establishment, in 
the person of a French nobleman, Monsieur !e 
Prince de Broglie." 

Here, in 1821, whilst the house was still in the 
hands of the Jesuits, died — it is said, from the effects 
of tight lacing — Mrs. Inchbald, the authoress of 
the " Simple Story." She had resided in several 
other houses in Kensington before coming here. 
She had written many volumes, which she had by 
her in manuscript ; but on her death-bed, from 
some motive or other, she requested a friend to 
tear them to pieces before her eyes, not having the 
strength to perform the heroic deed of immolation 
with her own hands. jNIr. and Mrs. Cosway, 
too, resided here for a short time, after leaving 
Stratford Place, and before settling down in the 
Edgware Road. 

The building was subsequently turned into a 
private lunatic as}-lum, and was then popularly 
known as Old Kensington Bedlam. It was pur- 
chased in 1873 by "Baron" Albert Grant, v/ho 
pulled it down and erected a modern Italian palace 
on its site. The cost of the building and grounds 
is stated to have exceeded one million sterling. 
The mansion contains a grand hall and staircase, 
built entirely of white marble, drawing-rooms, 
library, picture-galler}', three dining-rooms en suite, 
and a spacious ball-room. In the construction of 
the windows, numbering over a hundred, no less 
than three tons of stone have been used. In the 
fonnation of the grounds, which are twelve acres 
in extent, IMr. Grant purchased an Irish colony 
situated in the rear of the Kensington High Street 
- — formerly called the " Rookery " and " Jenning's 
Buildings " — both of which had been a nuisance to 
the parish for years past. These places are now 
entirely demolished, and the ground has been con- 
verted into a picturesque lake, three acres in extent, 
with two small islands in the centre. To secure 
an uninterrupted view of the Kensington Gardens, 
Mr. Grant purchased the pretty antique lodge 
which used to stand at the entrance to the gardens, 
together with the dead wall enclosing the grounds. 
These have been removed^ and in their stead a 
handsome range of gilt iron railings erected. 

Continuing our way westward, we come to the 
turning at Young Street, which leads into the 
square above alluded to. It is an old-fashioned, 
oblong enclosure, and bears the name of Ken- 




sington Square. It was commenced in the reign 
of James IL, and finished about 169S, as appeared 
by a date at one time afiixed at the north-east 
corner. .It is described by Bowack, in 1705, as : 
" the most beautiful part of the parish south of I 
the main road," and as " exceeding several noted ' 
squares in London for beauty of its buildings and j 
(for) worthy inhabitants." While the Court was at 
Kensington, most of the houses were inhabited by * 

some of Montaigne's "Essays." It is said ihat, 
finding little or no information in the chapters as 
to the subjects their titles promised, he closed 
the book more confused than satisfied. " What 
think you of this famous French author?" said a 
gentleman present. "Think?" said he, smiling i 
"why, that a pair of manacles, or a stone doublet^ 
would probably have been of some service to that 
author's infirmity." " Would you imprison a maa 


" persons of quality," ambassadors, gentry, and 
clergy ; and at one time, as Faulkner tells us, up- 
wards of forty carriages were kept by residents in 
and about the neighbourhood. In the reigns of 
William and Anne and the first two Georges, this 
square was the most fashionable spot in the suburbs ; 
indeed, in the time of George IL, the demand for 
lodgings here was so great, "that an ambassador, a 
bishop, and a physician have been known to occupy 
apartments in the same house." The celebrated 
Duchess de Mazarin appears to have resided here 
in 1692; and here she probably had among her 
visitors her "adoring old friend. Saint Evremond, 
*with his white locks, little skull cap, and the great 
wen on his forehead." Here, too, Addison lodged 
for some time ; and here it was that he read over 

for singularity in writing?" "Why, let me tell 
you," replied Addison, "if he had been a horse 
he would have been pounded for straying; and 
why he ought to be more favoured because he is a 
man, I cannot understand." We shall have more, 
however, to say ot Addison when we come to- 
Holland House. 

Somewhere about the south-west corner of the 
square lived, for several years, physician to King 
William III., and butt of all the wits of the time, 
Sir Richard Blackmore, the poet, of whom we have 
spoken in our account of Earl's Court. Hough, 
the good old Bishop of Winchester, lived here for 
many years ; as also did Mawson, Bishop of Ely - 
and Dr. Herring, Bishop of Bangor, and afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury. Among other noted 








residents were the Rev. W. Beloe, the translator of 
Herodotus ; and the Earl of Clanricarde. 

Another resident in Kensington Square, during 
the early part of the present century, was Prince 
•de Talleyrand, at one time Bishop of Autun, in 
France, and subsequently Ambassador-Extraordi- 
nary for that country to the Court of St. James's. 
Lord Palmerston used to declare that he was 
"exceedingly quiet and courteous, but he had a 
strange versatility not revealed to the world at 
large." \Vhen eighty years of age, and extremely 
lame, he still was fond of sharing the amusements 
of the young, and his smile was then so benign as 
quite to discredit the " sarcastic sneer " for which 
he was famous. " One night at the Duchess of 
Gramont's," writes Lady Clementina Davies, in 
her " Recollections of Society," " a game of forfeits 
Avas proposed. The duchess joined in the game, 
and lost her king. She asked how she could get 
it back. She was told she must ask some gentle- 
inan in the room to take a tour de valse with her, 
and she invited the lame and aged diplomatist to 
dance with her. He smiled, and instantly rose to 
comply.. Several young men offered to take his 
place, but neither he nor the gay little duchess 
would allow of this, and Talleyrand seemed able 
to perform his share in the valse, and to be pleased 
with the exertion. He remained with his partner, 
and conversed with her in a style of brilliant 
animation. AVhen Louis XVIH. was restored to 
the French throne, the sage minister said to him, 
*Now, sir, as a king of the French people, you 
must learn to forget ! ' The Bourbons might have 
fared better could they have taken this A\ise 
•counsel ! '' 

Lady Clementina Davies, who lived on terms 
of intimacy with the Prince, declares that it is quite 
an error to suppose that he was a mere political 
hypocrite, or that he transferred his services from 
one sovereign to anotlier with reckless indifference; 
but that, on the contrary, his only motive was a 
patriotic desire to advance the interests of his 
country. He was shamefully used by his parents 
on account of his club-foot ; he was deprived of all 
his rights as the eldest son, and forced against his 
will to become a priest. In spite of his cynicism, 
the great diplomatist was a remarkably pleasant- 
tempered man, full of kindness to children, and 
possessing conversational powers of the highest 

Talleyrand, in the year 183 1, is thus described 
by Macaulay among the guests he met at Holland 
House : — " He is certainly the greatest curiosity 
that I ever fell in with. His head is sunk down 
between two hiirh shoulders. One of his feet is 

hideously distorted. His face is as pale as that of 
a corpse, and wrinkled to a frightful degree. His 
eyes have an odd glassy stare, quite peculiar to 
them. His hair, thickly powdered and pomatumed, 
hangs down his shoulders on each side as straight 
as a pound of tallow candles. His conversation, 
however, soon makes you forget his ugliness and 
infirmities. There is a poignancy without effort 
in all that he says, which reminds me a little of the 
character which the v.-its of Johnson's circle give of 
Beauclerk. . . . He told several stories about 
the political men of France, not of any great value 
in themselves ; but his way of telling them was 
beyond all praise — concise, pointed, and delicately 
satirical. ... I could not help breaking out 
into admiration of his talent for relating anecdotes. 
Lady Holland said that he had been considered 
for nearly forty years as the best teller of a story ; 
in Europe, and that there was certainly nobody 
like him in that respect."' 

In this square, also, resided James jMill, the 
historian of British India, and father of i\Ir. John 
Stuart jNIill, the political economist, and some time 
Member of Parliament for Westminster. He died 
in June 1836, and was buried in the vaults below 
the parish church. 

Part of the western side of the square is occu- 
pied by the front of the Kensington Proprietary 
Grammar School ; and three or four of the largest 
mansions near the south-west angle form now the 
Convent of the Dames de Sacre Coeur, on whose 
garden a handsome Roman Catholic church, and 
also a convent chapel, have been lately built. 

It is in Kensington Square that Thackeray, in his 
" Esmond," lays the scene which presents us with _ 
James Stuart, " the Prince " from Saint Germains, ■ 
as lodging, and passing for the time as Lord Castle- 
wood, holding himself in readiness for action when 
the death of Queen Anne was expected. He 
pictures the Prince walking restlessly upon " the 
Mall "' at Kensington. The " little house in Ken- 
sington Square " figures from first to last in the 
above-mentioned work as the residence of Lady 
Castlewood and of Beatrix Esmond, and is the 
centre at once of love-making and of political 
plots, in the interest of the exiled Stuarts. 

About the middle of the High Street stands 
Kensington Church, dedicated to St. Mary the 
Virgin. The present fabric dates only from the 
}ear 1869, having replaced an older structure. It 
was built from the designs of Sir Gilbert Scott, and 
has about it a degree of architectural dignity which 
befits the importance of the parish as the " Old 
Court Suburb," the abode of royalty, and a quarter 
inhabited by many wealthy and aristocratic families. 

Kensington. J 



The style of design is that which was in vogue 
towards the close of the thirteenth century, and 
known as the Decorated, though it is freely 
adapted to present uses. It consists of a large 
nave and chancel, each with aisles, and additional 
aisles at the eastern part of the nave, which at 
that part, consequently, has double aisles on each 
side. The whole is of very lofty proportions, with 
clerestory both to nave and chancel. The tower 
and spire, which are on a considerable scale, are 
at the north-east angle, and connected with the 
chancel by an extra aisle, which contains the organ. 
The cost of the building was about ^35,000, 
towards wliich Her Majesty the Queen gave ^^200, 
while the late vicar of the parish, Archdeacon 
Sinclair, made a donation of ;;^i,ooo. 

The old parish church of St. Mary's, though a 
plain and unpretending edifice, which Bishop 
Elomfield used to designate the ugliest in his 
diocese, was an interesting structure, not only on 
account of the numerous monuments which it con- 
tained, but far more on account of the historical 
reminiscences connected with it. What with partial 
rebuildings and wholesale repairs, it had been 
altered a dozen times in less than two centuries. 
It superseded a previous building of which little or 
nothing is recorded. It is more than probable 
that the ancient parish church of Kensington stood 
nearly on the spot in Holland Street, now occupied 
by the church of the Carmelite Fathers, and oppo- 
site the vicarage. At all events, it stood a little 
to the north of the parish church of subsequent 
centuries, and not for from the Manor House, to 
which the vicarage is a successor ; indeed, there 
is a tradition, but unconfirmed, that the original 
parish church stood some distance to the north, 
near the Gravel Pits, and was removed hither at 
the time of the Conquest. The road, by its 
very narrowness and cur\ings, shows that it is an 
ancient way, and it is still traditionally called, or 
at all events was called within the memory of the 
present generation, the "Parson's Yard." It will 
not be a little singular if hereafter it should be 
discovered that the Carmelites have been building 
on the old foundations. The resolution to build 
this church was adopted by the vestry in 1696, 
and among the contributors were William III. and 
Queen Mary, as well as the Princess Anne. The 
king and queen not only subscribed to the building 
fund, but presented the reading-desk and pulpit, 
which had crowns carved upon them, with the 
initials "W." and " M. R." A pew, curtained round 
in the fashion of old times, was, in consequence, 
set apart for the royal family, and long continued 
to be occupied by residents in Kensington Palace, 

and among whom were the Duke and Duchess of 
Kent and the late Duke of Cambridge. It was 
in this church that the Duchess of Kent returned 
thanks after the birth of Queen Victoria. 

Here were monuments to Edward, eighth Earl of 
Warwick and Holland, who died in 1759; and to 
" the three Colmans : " Francis Colman, some time 
British Minister to the Court of Florence ; his son, 
George, "the Elder," and his grandson, George, "the 
Younger." The two latter wrote several comedies, 
and were proprietors of the Haymarket Theatre. 
Here also was buried one Sir Manhood Penrud- 
dock, Avho was " slain at Notting Wood, in fight, 
in the year 1608."' At that time the nation was at 
peace ; the " fight " which is recorded in the parish 
register probably means a " duel." Two interesting 
monuments by Chantrey, which were erected ia 
the old i)arish church, have been replaced in the 
new edifice : the one in memory of a former vicar, 
Dr. T. Rennell ; the other to a Peninsular officer, 
Colonel Hutchins, a native of Earl's Court. 

Near one of the entrances to the church was a 
tablet recording a reputed donation of lands to the 
parish by Oliver Cromwell, of which Lysons states : 
"An anonymous benefactor, in 1652, gave some 
land at Kensington Gravel-pits, on which was 
formerly a malthouse. This is called Cromwell's 
gift, and a tradition has prevailed that is was given 
by Oliver Cromwell ; but the parish have no 
evidence to ascertain it." 

The peal of bells was cast by Jane\\ay, of 
Chelsea, in 1772. In the parish books are several 
entries of sums paid for ringing the church bells 
on public occasions since the Revolution. The 
Battle of the Boyne, for instance, is thus re- 
corded : "May 2, 1690. — Paid William Reynolds 
for the ringers on that day the news came of the 
victory gained by his Majesty at and near the 
Boyne, 12s." And again, the Battle of Blenheim 
is thus noted: "1704. — Paid Mr. Jackman for a. 
barrel of beer for the victory over the French and 
Bavarians, 15s." Another entry runs as follows : 
" For Limerick's being taken, and 'twas false," 
{sic) : on this occasion the ringers were contented 
with eighteen pence. Various sums are mentioned 
as having been paid on the arrival of King William 
and his Queen, such as became the royal parish, 
" kingly Kensington." In Murray's " Environs of 
London " it is stated that this church has had its 
"Vicar of Bray," in one Thomas Hodges, col- 
lated to the living by Archbishop Juxon. He kept 
his preferment during the Civil War and inter- 
regnum, by joining alternately with either party. 
Although a frequent preacher before the Long 
Parliament, and one of the Assembly of Divines, 




he was made Dean of Hereford after the Restora- 
tion, but contmued Vicar of Kensington. 

Amongst the many interesting associations of 
the old church are several of the present century. 
Mr. Wilberforce, who, as we have stated, resided 
•at Kensington Gore, is still remembered by many 
■of the old inhabitants as sitting in the pew appro- 
priated to the Holland House family. George 
Canning, who resided at Gloucester Lodge, might 
often be seen sitting in the royal pew ; Coke, of 
Norfolk, the eminent agriculturist, had a pew here, 
which he regularly occupied. Professor Nassau 
W. Senior, the political economist, although living 
so far distant as Hyde Park Gate, might often be 
seen, in company with the late Mr. Thackeray, 
attending the early service 3 but neither of these 
eminent writers, it is said, rented a pew in the 
church. Lord IMacaulay, too, whilst living at Holly 
Lodge, Campden Hill, regularly attended here 
■during the last two summers of his life. 

To the churchyard, in 18 14, was added a new 
■cemetery, where was previously an avenue of elms, 
through which ran the original approach from the 
town to Campden House. In the churchyard 
is a monument to Mrs. Elizabeth Lichbald, who 
is truthfully and touchingly described on it as " a 
beauty, a virtue, a player, and authoress of 'A 
Simple Story.' " She commenced her career as an 
actress in 1777, on the York circuit, but quitted the 
stage in 1789, continuing, however, for many years to 
entertain the public in the character of a dramatic 
author. jMrs. Inchbald died on the ist of March, 
182 1, as we have stated above, at old Kensington 
House. The following instances of longevity are 
to be found in the registers of burials : — 1786, 
Margaret Smart, aged 103 ; 1804, Jane Hartwell, 
from Methwold's Almshouses, aged 100; 1807, 
William Griffiths, of the Gravel-pits, aged 103. 
The present vicarage, built about 1774, super- 
seded a humble structure little more than a cottage 
with latticed windows. 

Returning again into the High Street, we notice^ 
a few yards beyond the church, a curious-looking 
brick building, of two storeys, above which is a 
•square tower, probably intended to hold a bell ; 
this was the old Kensington Charity School, built 
by Sir John Vanbrugh. It is now a savings'-bank, 
with a new school-room by the side of it. Ad- 
joining this building is the new Vestry Hall, which 
iias been recently erected in the style of architec- 
ture in vogue in the reign of James I. 

On the opposite side of the way, in a house 
-which stood on the site of the Metropolitan Rail- 
Avay Station, lived for some years the celebrated 
political writer, William Cobbett, wliom we have 

mentioned above. In a garden at the back of his 
house, and also at a farm which he possessed at 
the same time at Barn-Elms, Cobbett cultivated his 
Indian corn, his American forest-trees, his pigs, 
poultry, and butchers' meat, all which he pro- 
nounced to be the best that were ever beheld ; but 
the aristocratic suburb, we are told, did not prove 
a congenial soil, and he quitted it a bankrupt. He 
entered Parliament as member for Oldham, but did 
not live long afterwards, dying in 1835. 

Campden House — which stands on the western 
side of Church Street, in its own grounds — is men- 
tioned in the " New View of London," pubhshed 
in 1708, among the noble palaces belonging to Her 
Majesty, Queen Anne, "for the Court to reside in 
at pleasure." But this statement is not quite true. 
The house never absolutely belonged to royalty. 
It was the residence of Baptist Hicks, Viscount 
Campden, after whom it was called, and who was 
the founder of Hicks's Hall, in Clerkenwell ; * and 
it caused his name to be given to the neighbour- 
hood as Campden Hill. The mansion, which 
underwent considerable alterations in its exterior at 
the beginning of the present century, was spacious 
and picturesque, with its bay windows and turrets ; 
several of the rooms had ceilings richly worked in 
stucco, and chimney-cases much ornamented. It 
was built about the year 16 12, for Sir Baptist Hicks, 
whose arms (with that date), and those of his 
sons-in-law, Edward Lord Noel and Sir Charles 
Morison, figured in one of the windows. In the 
great dining-room it is said that Charles II. more 
than once supped with Lord Campden. It has 
fine wainscoat panels, and the ceiling was divided 
into compartments, in which figured the arms of 
the family, and their alliances. The house was 
rented from the Noel family by the Princess of 
Denmark (afterwards Queen Anne), who resided 
there about five years with her son, the Duke of 
Gloucester ; and about that time, according to 
Lysons, the adjoining house, afterwards the resi- 
dence of Mrs. Pitt, is said to have been built 
for the accommodation of Her Majesty's house- 
hold. The amusements and pursuits of the Duke 
of Gloucester, who died in early boyhood, were 
princii)ally of a military cast, for he is said to have 
formed a regiment of his youthful companions, 
chiefly from Kensington, who seem to have been 
upon constant duty at Campden House. At the 
beginning of the eighteenth century Campden 
House was in the occupation of the Dowager 
Countess of Burlington and her son, Richard 
Boyle, afterwards Earl, famous for his taste in the 

• See Vol. II., p. 322. 




fine arts. The house was afterwards held by the 
Noels, who parted with it to Nicholas Lechmere, 
tlie politician, who Avas created Lord Lechmere, 
and who resided here for several years. His lord- 
ship, probably, is now best remembered by the 
place he occupies in Gay's (or Swift's) ballad, en- 
titled " Duke upon Duke," where, having challenged 
one Sir John Guise to fight a duel, he contrives to 
give his foe the slip : — 

" Back in the dark, by Biompton Park, 
He turned up throuj^'h the Gore ; 
So sUmk to Campden House so high, 
All in his coach and four." 

Towards the close of the last century the mansion 
became a boarding-school for ladies. George 
Selwyn speaks of going there to see a protege of 
his, TvLaria Fagniani, who was held to be a very 
lucky person, for he and his friend Lord March 
(afterwards Duke of Queensberry — " Old Q.") took 
themselves respectively for her father, and each of 
them left her a fortune. She afterwards married 
the Marquis of Hertford."^' In the Mirror for 
1840, we read : " There are two dogs, carved out 
of stone, on the end walls of the gate or entrance, 
leading to Campden House, near Campden Hill, 
Kensington ; they are pointer dogs, and very 
beautifully carved. The boys in the neighbour- 
hood have done them much damage by pelting 
them with stones for fun, but they have stood all 
their knocks well — their legs are nearly worn away. 
From these two dogs the entrance is generally 
called by the inhabitants ' The Dogs,' by way of 
distinction. ' The House,' the entrance-lane to 
which they guard, was formerly occupied by Queen 
Anne ; it is a plain substantial house, and now occu- 
pied as a ladies' school." Later on it was again 
converted into a private residence. It contained in 
all about thirty rooms, besides a private theatre, in 
which the Campden amateur artists used to perform 
for charitable objects. The terrace steps and para- 
pets were extremely massive and handsome, and 
in the garden, which was sheltered and sunny, the 
wild olive is said to have flourished. A caper-tree 
produced fruit here for nearly a century. The 
building was destroyed by fire in 1862. 

At Campden Hill was the obsen:-atory of Sir 
James South, one of the founders of the Royal 
Astronomical Society. Among his working instru- 
ments here was a 7-feet transit instrument, a 4-feet 
transit circle, and one of the equatorials with which, 
between the years 1S21 and 1823, he and Sir John 
Herschel made a catalogue of 380 double stars. 
It was about the year 1S25 that Sir James settled 

• See Vol. IV., p. 287. 

at Campden Hill ; but in the equipment of his- 
observatory he appears to have been unfortunate, 
for one large equatorial instrument, constructed at 
great expense, which became the subject of a law- 
suit, gave him such dissatisfaction that he ordered 
it to be broken up, and the parts sold by auction. 
Large printed placards were posted throughout the 
neighbourhood of Kensington, and advertisements 
also appeared in the daily papers, announcing that 
on such a day (named) a sale of an extraordinary 
nature would take place at the observatory. These 
placards, from their singular character, attracted 
much attention. The following is a copy : — 

" Observatory, Campden Hill, Kensington. 
'• To shycock toy-makers, smoke-jack makers, 
mock-coin makers, dealers in old metals, col- 
lectors of and dealers in artificial curiosities, and 
to such Fellows of the Astronomical Society as, 
at the meeting of that most learned and equally 
upright body, on the 13th of ^May last, were en- 
lightened by Mr. Airy's (the Astronomer Royal) 
profound expose of the mechanical incapacity of 
English astronomical instrument-makers of the 
present day : — To be sold by hand, on the pre- 
mises, by Mr. M'Lelland, on Wednesday, De- 
cember 21, 1842, between eleven and twelve 
o'clock in the forenoon, several hundred-weight of 
brass, gun-metal, &c., being the metal of the great 
equatorial instrument made for the Kensington 
Observatory by Messrs. Troughton and Simms ;, 
the wooden polar axis of which, by the same 
artists, and its botchings, cobbled up by their 
assistants (Mr. Airy and the Rev. R. Sheepshanks) 
Avere, in consequence of public advertisements, on 
the 8th of July, 1839, purchased by divers vendors 
of old clothes, and licensed dealers in dead cows, 
and horses, &c., with the exception of a fragment 
of mahogany, specially reserved at the request 
of several distinguished philosophers, which, on 
account of the great anxiety expressed by foreign 
astronomers and foreign astronomical instrument- 
makers, to possess when converted into snuff-boxes 
as a souvenir piqiiante of the state of the art of 
astronomical instrument-making in England during 
the nineteenth century, will, at the conclusion of 
the sale, be disposed of at per pound." 

At the hour appointed a number of marine-store 
dealers and other dealers in metal (some of whom 
had come in carts from town), with a sprinkling 
of astronomical instrument-makers, and scientific 
persons, were assembled outside. Sir James South's 
residence, and were admitted into the grounds by 
a small door in the hedge close to the well-known 
circular building in Avhich the equatorial instrument 




was at first placed. On entering the grounds, to 
the left appeared the wreck of the instrument which 
a few years ago excited the interest of men of 
science throughout the world, lying arranged in 
Jots numbered from o to 14, lot 15 being the frag- 
ment of mahogany spoken of in the bill, and lot 
16 a plaster bust of Professor Airy, which was 
•mounted on the ledge of a window above the 
centre lot. On the right, on the spacious lawn, 

tainly be futile. Even the portions of the enormous 
tube were bored with holes, and battered to attain 
that object. Sir James South, in answer to an in- 
quiry by a gentleman present as to the cause of so 
much deterioration in the value of the property 
having been made, said he had been told that he 
should get only the value of old metal for it ; and 
knowing that those who purchased the material, had 
the parts been sold in a perfect state, would take 


was erected a large beam and scales, with weights 
for the purpose of ascertaining the weights of the 
different metals. Sir James South was present 
during the sale. He appeared in high spirits, and 
conversed with the company with his accustomed 
urbanity. The sale not being conducted by hammer, 
but by hand, was a very silent proceeding, and 
afforded no scope for either the eloquence or inge- 
nuity of the auctioneer. The iron portion of the 
instrument, consisting of bolts, screws, &c., as well 
as the copper part, was unmutilated. The former 
fetched ^3, and the latter yd. per pound. The great 
equatorial instrument itself — viz., the tube, circle, 
&c., made of brass, had been broken into numerous 
pieces, which were divided into several lots, so 
that any attempt to reunite them would most cer- 

them to the manufacturers, and from them receive 
a valuable consideration for them, he therefore de- 
termined to prevent its being devoted to any such 
ignoble purpose, and had mutilated it so that it 
should be of no value to any one beyond the in- 
trinsic value of the metal. Notwithstanding these 
singular* proceedings, one of Sir James's " equa- 
torials " still remained mounted in his observatory, 
besides a few other instruments, including a transit 
circle, celebrated as having formerly belonged to 
Mr. Groombridge, and as having been the instru- 
ment with which the observations were made for 
the formation of the catalogue of circumpolar stars 
which bear his name. Sir James, whose contribu- 
butions to scientific literature arc well known, died 
here in 1S67, at an advanced age. Kensington, of 

Kensington. 3 


late years, has recovered some of its aristocratical 
character as a place of residence. Argyll Lodge, 
on Campden Hill, is the town-house of the Duke 
of Argyll, and Bedford Lodge, close by, was for 
many years the mansion of the Dowager Duchess 
of Bedford. 

desired to have a list of the parochial charities, 
and a seat in the parish church. Although con- 
fined to the house by asthma during the winter, 
he was, as we have stated above, very regular in 
his attendance during the summer. A few days 
before his death, discussing the subject of church- 


At Holly Lodge, Campden Hill, on the 2Sth of 
December, 1859, died Thomas Babington, Lord 
Macaulay, the essayist, orator, and historian, of 
whom we have already had occasion to speak in 
our accounts of the Albany and of Great Ormond 
Street.* Vv'hen, after having been raised to the 
peerage, he went to reside at Holly Lodge, he 

* See Vol, IV., pp. 259, 562. 

rates, he said, " Church-rates cannot last ; and the 
proper substitute for them is a large subscription 
— I will give ;^ioo as my share. I am not an ex- 
clusive, but of all Christian communions I consider 
the Church of England to be the best." 

Lord INIacaulay took great delight in his house 
and garden here ; and he was never more pleased 
than when in his library, surrounded by his nephews 
and nieces. 





At a house in Orbell's Buildings, previously 
called Pitt's Buildings, on the south-east side of 
Campden Hill, died, March 20th, 1727, the great 
Sir Isaac Newton, at the age of eighty-five. His 
house seems to have had a back entrance in Church 
Street, where a gateway next the " George " Tavern 
is inscribed "Newton House." His estate at 
Kensington he left to a daughter of his nephew, 
Mr. Conduit, who married Lord Lymington, after- 
wards Earl of Portsmouth ; and hence it is that the 
manuscripts of the great philosopher have been 
kept in the custody of the Wallop family. 

A writer in the Times stated, in 1870, that the 
house actually occupied by Sir Isaac Newton was 
not the house named after him, but Bullingham 
House, where, he adds, *' a slab put up in remem- 
brance of him may still be seen in the garden wall." 

The neighbourhood of Kensington Gravel Pits, 
by which name is understood a district of some 
extent bordering on the Uxbridge Road, has long 
been noted for salubrity of the air, and was a 
favourite residence of artists half a century ago. 
The high road through this district, known as 
High Street, Notting Hill, forms a kind of second 
Kensington High Street, being to the northern 
boundary of the suburb what the High Street, in 
the road to Hammersmith, is to Kensington proper. 

Swift had lodgings in the Gravel Pits during the 
v/lnter of 17 12-13; ^'^^ Lord Chatham's sister, 
Anne Pitt, is recorded to have died " at her house 
in Pitt Place, Kensington Gravel Pits," in 1780. 
To the south of the Gravel Pits was the Mall, 
which still exists as a street running at right angles 
to the Uxbridge Road. 

Sheffield House, which stood between Church 
Street and Kensington Gravel Pits, owed its name 
to property possessed in this quarter by Sheffield, 
Duke of Buckingham, with the descendants of 
whose family it long remained. The house, how- 
ever, has disappeared, and in its place have risen 
rows of houses overlooking Campden House 
Gardens and Palace Green. 

Time was, and not so very long ago, when the 
artist body made their homes at Kentish and 
Camden Town, at Highgate, Hampstead, and St. 
John's Wood ; but of late years they have flocked 
in far larger numbers to Kensington, no doubt on 
account of the convenience of access thence to all 
parts of the town, and of the good northern light 
which is secured to them by Kensington Gardens 
and the Park round Holland House. The Royal 
Academy Catalogue for 1876 shows that out of 
the total number of exhibitors, about a hundred 
lived in and around Kensington. 

At his residence in tli° Mall, in 1S44, died 

Sir Augustus Callcott, E..A., the eminent Enghsh 
landscape painter. Sir Augustus and his brother 
John W. Callcott, the musician, v/ere the sons of 
a builder v/ho resided near the " Gravel Pits," 
Kensington, where they were born in 1779 and 
1766 respectively. At the time of the fire at 
Campden House, above mentioned, the adjoining 
mansion was in the occupation of Wx. Augustus 
Egg, a distinguished Royal Academician, and fears 
were entertained for the safety of his house and its 
valuable contents. 

Sir David AVilkie was living in Kensington in 
1834. Here he showed to his friends his picture 
of ''John Knox preaching to his Congregation" 
before sending it in to the Academy. Mr. J. R. 
Planche, who was among the visitors, drew his 
attention to certain anachronisms in the armour, 
which the painter promised to alter ; but time went 
on, the promise was never fulfilled, and the painting 
still exists to hand down a wilful blunder to pos- 
terity. Wilkie's first residence here was in Lower 
Phillimore Place, near the milestone ; there he 
painted his " Chelsea Pensioners," his " Reading 
of the Will," his " Distraining for Rent," and his 
" Blind-man's Buft." He afterwards removed to 
Shaftesbury House, on the Terrace, and here the 
sunny hours of his life were spent. We get a 
glimpse of his daily habits in a letter which he 
wrote to his sister soon after settling here : " I dine, 
as formerly," he tells her, " at two o'clock, paint 
tvy'o hours in the forenoon and two hours in the 
afternoon, and take a short walk in the Park or 
through the fields twice a day." His last residence 
here, as Peter Cunningham tells us, was a detached 
mansion in Vicarage Place, at the head of Church 
Lane ; there he took leave of his friends before his 
visit to the Holy Land, which shortly preceded his 

At Kensington, John Evelyn, as he tells us in 
his "Diary," went to visit-Dr. Tenison (afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury), " whither he had re- 
tired to refresh himself after he had been sick of 
the small-pox." This was just before the erection 
of the school in I>eicester Square which bears 
Tenison's name. Kensington was the birthplace 
of Lord Chancellor Camden, who died in 1794, at 
the age of eighty. Sir John Fielding, the well- 
known magistrate, was also a resident here. Here, 
too, lived, and here died at an advanced age, Lady 
]\Iargaret ]Macdonald, the mother of Chief Baron 
IMacdonald, a lady who was visited by Dr. Johnson 
in his tour to the Hebrides. She was buried in 
the centre vault of the old church, close to the 
reading-desk, which was given to the parish by 
William III. It was her attendant and connection. 




Flora Macdonald, who so heroically aided the 
escape of " Bonny Prince Charlie," after his defeat 
at CuUoden. 

Another Kensingtonian was Robert Nelson, the 
author of '•' Fasts and Festivals," and one of the 
founders of the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge. He died in 17 15, and was a man 
of such polished and courtly manners, that Dr. 
Johnson affirms him to have been the original 
whence Samuel Richardson drew his " Sir Charles 

It is wortliy of note that the high road between 
London and Kensington was the first place where 
oil lamps with glazed lights were placed, for the 
convenience of the Court as they travelled back- 
wards and forwards to St James's and ^Vhitehall. 
This was about the year 1694. The old method 
of lighting the thoroughfare with lanterns and 
wicks ot cotton was then gradually laid aside. It 
does not appear, however, that the example of 
Kensington was at all speedily followed by the rest 
of the metropolis at the ^Vest End ; for more than 
a quarter of a century later, in 1 7 1 8, we find Lady 
]\Liry Wortley Montagu'-' contrasting the lighting 
of London at night with that of Paris in most un- 
favourable terms. If Chelsea, as Thackeray ob- 
serves in his " Esmond," was even in Anne's time 
" distant from London, and the roads to it were 
bad, and infested by footpads," tlie same was true 
also of Kensington. Indeed, as a proof of the 
insecurity of the roads in the suburbs until after the 
introduction of gas, and the establishment of a 
pohce force, we may be pardoned for informing our 
readers, on the authority of Walker's "Original,"' 
that, "at Kensington, within the memory of man, 
on Sunday evenings a bell used to be rung at inter- 
vals to muster the people returning to town. As 
soon as a band was assembled sufficiently numerous 
to ensure mutual protection, it set off, and so on till 
all had passed." So insecure was the state of the 
road — in fact, in spite of the patrol — that we read 
of a plot being concocted .'or the purpose of 
robbing Queen Anne as she returned from London 
to Kensington in her coach. Indeed, even as 
late as the end of the last century, a journey from 
London to the suburbs after night-fall was not 
accomplished without danger to purse and person 
too. Horace Walpole often travelled along this 
road in his carriage between Berkeley Square and 
Strawberry Hill. On one occasion, as he intimates 
in one of his letters to the Miss Berrys, he 
composed a long set of verses in praise of General 
Conway, then in chief command at the Horse 

* Works, edited by Lord Wharncliffe, vol. ii. , p. ii3. 

Guards, whilst in his carriage, having " conceived 
and executed them between Hammersmith and 
Hyde Park Corner."' 

We learn from a private letter in the Record 
Office, descriptive of the Fire of London, that on 
that occasion a great quantity of the goods and 
property of the citizens was brought as far westward 
as Kensington for safety. The writer adds : " Had 
your lordship been at Kensington you would have 
thought for five days — for so long the fire lasted — 
that it had been Doomsday, and that the heavens 
themselves had been on fire ; and the fearful cries 
and bowlings of undone people did much increase 
the resemblance. My walks and gardens were 
almost covered with the ashes of papers, linen, «S:c., 
and pieces of ceiling and plaster-work, blown 
thither by the tempest." 

" In a curious little nook of the ' Court Suburb,' 
wherein the drama had furtively taken root," writes 
Mr. J. R. Planche', in his " Recollections," " I wit- 
nessed the performance of a piece entitled the 
' Queen's Lover,' by a company of actors, all pre- 
viously unknown to me, even by name, but who 
generally exhibited talent, and one, in my humble 
opinion, genius." Mr. Planche went thither in the 
company of Madame \'estris and Mr. Alfred Bunn, 
who at the time had succeeded to the united stage 
kingdom of Covent Garden and of Drury Lane. 
The person of " genius" was Henry Gaskell Denvil, 
in whom Bunn thought that he had found a second 
Kean. Instead, however, of encouraging him, he 
crushed his spirits and drove him out of life. 

It would, perhaps, be a little singular if such an 
interesting "old-world" sort of place as Kensington 
should be without its "ghost-story;" and it may 
be gratifying to find that it is not. Here is one, of 
no older date than the year 1868, which we quote 
from the newspaper reports at the time :— " In a 
small house, about twenty yards away from the 
main road, live an old lady, eighty-four years of 
age, and her daughter, with one servant. They 
have lived in the same house for nearly twenty 
years without any annoyance ; but for the last few 
months they are being constantly startled by a sharp 
loud knocking upon the panel of the street-door. 
Upon opening the door, however quickly, no sign 
of any one is to be discovered. Xo sooner are the 
ladies quietly settled again than rap-rap-rap ! comes 
upon the door. And this is repeated at irregular 
intervals through the evening. For some time it 
was attributed to some imps of school-boys, who 
are always ready for mischief, and but little notice 
was taken of it ; but the continuance of what was 
only annoying became at last a serious nuisance. 
The most nimble efforts were made, without success, 




to ' catch ' the oftenders, but until a few nights ago 
the attacks were so arranged as never to take place 
in the presence of male visitors ; consequently the 
ladies received much pity, but little sympathy, from 
their friends. After a time they became nervous, 
and at last really frightened. On Thursday evening 
a gentleman, the son of the old lady, called, and 
found them quite ill from nervous excitement, and 
was comforting them as well as he could, when a 
quick rap-rap-rap ! at the front door made him jump 
up. In. two seconds he was at the door, rushed 
out, looking in every direction without discovering 
a sound or a trace of any human being in any of 
the adjacent roads. Then, for the first time, he 
was able to understand from what his mother and 
sister had suffered, and set to work to examine the 
approaches to the door inside and out, and to solve 
the mystery, if possible. No sooner had he gone 
back to the little dining-room, and placed a chair 
in the open doorway, with a big stick handy to 
' trounce ' the perpetrator the next time, and begun 
to discuss what it was, than rap-rap-rap ! sent him 
flying out into the street, to the astonishment of a 
passing cabman, who must have thought a madman 
had just escaped his keeper. This happened four 
or five times more j in fact, it only ceased about a 
quarter to eleven. He went round to the police- 
station, and had an officer put on special duty 
opposite the house for the next day, and spent the 
following morning in calling upon the neighbours, 
and carefully examining the gardens and walls 
which abutted upon the ' haunted ' house. Not a 
mark of any sort was to be found, and he was quite 
convinced that the door could not have been reached 
from any point but right in front from the street, 
as there is no cellar or drain under the house. 
In the evening he took a friend down with him, and 
two more of his friends looked in later. The ladies 
were found in a painful state of nervous fright, as 
the nuisance had already been going on, and the 
maid-servant was crying. Altogether, it was a scene 
of misery. In the course of conversation the fol- 
lowing facts came out : — It began on a Friday, the 
1 8th of October, and has never missed a Friday 
since then. It has never been heard on Sunday, 
seldom on Saturday ; never before the gas-lamps 
are lit, never after eleven. Just as all were talking 
at once, rap-rap-rap ! In an instant all four gentle- 
men were in the front garden ; the policeman was 
quietly standing opposite the door ; the lady of the 
house opposite watching the door from her portico, 
and another gentleman from the leads. All declared 
that not a living creature had been near the house 
for at least a quarter of an hour. The whole thing 
seems inexplicable, and has created quite a sensation 

in the neighbourhood." The mystery was after- 
wards solved, for it appeared that the servant-girl 
had caused the rapping by means of wires. 

In Scarsdale Terrace, Wright's Lane, near the 
railway station, Kensington High Street, is the 
Crippled Boys' National Industrial Home. This 
charity was instituted in 1865, and v/as originally 
located in a house in the High Street. There are 
about fifty crippled boys in the Home, received from 
all parts of the kingdom, once destitute, neglected, 
or ill treated in their own dwellings, without any 
chance of rising, like other youths, to social inde- 
pendence by their own exertions, but now happily 
engaged for a term of three years in learning an 
industrial employment for this end. This charity 
has, notwithstanding its limited means, been of 
great service to many, the greater portion of whom 
are seen or heard of from time to time ; and it is 
astonishing to find how many crippled children there 
are throughout the country, whose anxious appeals 
to the committee for admission are very distressing. 

Scarsdale House, a small mansion close by, was 
for many years a boarding-school, and as such, 
says Leigh Hunt, it must have been an eyesore to 
William Cobbett, the political writer, the back of 
whose premises in the High Street it overlooked. 
Scarsdale House, now no longer a boarding-school, 
appears to have returned to the occupation of the 
family who are understood to have built it, for its 
present inmate is the Hon. Edward Cecil Curzon, 
brother of the late Lord Zouche. It is conjectured 
that the house was built by the Earl of Scarsdale, 
whose family name was Leake, the Scarsdale cele- 
brated by Pope for his love of the bottle — 
" Each mortal has his pleasure ; — none deny 
Scarsdale his bottle, Darty his ham-pie." 

Another "edifice in Wright's Lane, standing on 
the site of Abingdon House, is the Roman Catholic 
University College, which was formally inaugurated 
in October, 1874. The building, although com- 
paratively small, is very complete in its arrange- 
ments, and comprises a theatre, lecture-rooms, a 
school of science, a discussion-room, and a chapel. 
There is besides a spacious building erected in the 
grounds, where a club has been established, under 
the mahagement of the students themselves. In 
it are billiard-rooms and fencing-rooms for the use 
of the students, whilst a number of other rooms 
are set apart for the amusement or edification of 
the students in other ways. The students, it may 
be added, include young men from Ushaw, Stony- 
hurst, Beaumont Lodge, Oscott, Prior Park, and St. 
George's, Croydon ; and the college was founded 
mainly through the instrumentality of Monsignor 
Capel, who was appointed its first rector. 



Kensington always has had a large Irish element, 
and of late years, owing to the increasing popula- 
tion of the place, rapid strides have been made 
by the Roman Catholic body in augmenting their 

The Lo7idon Review of 1865 gives the following 
account of the progress of the Roman Catholic 
body of Kensington at that time : — " Formerly, for 
the accommodation of the whole of the Roman 
Catholics of this parish, there was but one small 
chapel near the High Street, which appeared 
amply sufficient for the members of that creed. 
But ten or twelve years ago a Roman Catholic 
builder purchased, at an enormous price, a plot of 
ground, about three acres in extent, beside the 
Church of the Holy Trinity, Brompton. For a time 
considerable mystery prevailed as to the uses it was 
to be applied to; but, shortly after the buildings 
were commenced, they were discovered to be the 
future residence and church of the Oratorian 
Fathers, removed to it from their former dwelling ; 
and the chapel, a small and commodious erection, 
was opened for divine service. At first the con- 
gregation was of the scantiest description : even 
on Sundays at high mass, small as the chapel was, 
it was frequently only half filled ; while on week 
days, at many of the services, it was no uncommon 
circumstance to find the attendance scarcely more 
numerous than the number of priests serving at the 
altar. By degrees the congregation increased, till 
the chapel was found too small for their accommo- 
dation, and extensive alterations were made to it ; 
but these, again, were soon filled to overflowing, and 
further alterations had to be made, till at last the 
building was capable of holding, without difficulty, 
from 2,000 to 2,500 persons. It is now frequently 
so crowded at high mass that it is difficult for an 
individual entering it after the commencement of 
the service to find even standing room. In the 
meantime the monastery itself, if that is the proper 
term, was completed — a splendid appearance it 
presents — and we believe is fully occupied. The 
Roman Catholic population in the parish or mission, 
under the spiritual direction of the Fathers of the 
Oratory, now comprise between 7,000 and 8,000 
souls. The average attendance at mass on Sunday 
AS about 5,000, and the average number of commu- 
nicants for the last two years has been about 45,000 
annually. But in addition to this church, Kensing- 
ton has three others — St. Mary's, Upper Holland 
Street ; St Simon Stock, belonging to the Carmelite 
Friars ; and the Church of St. Francis Assisi, in 
Netting Hill. Of. monasteries, or religious com- 
munities of men, it has the Oratorians before men- 
tioned, and the Discalced Carmelites, in Vicarage 

Place. Of convents of ladies it has the Assumption, 
in Kensington Square ; the Poor Clares Convent, in 
Edmond Terrace \ the Franciscan Convent, in 
Portobello Pvoad ; and the Sisters of Jesus, in 
Holland Villas. Of schools, the Roman Catholics 
possess, in the parish of Kensington, the Orphan- 
age, in the Fulham Road ; the Industrial School of 
St. Vincent de Paul ; as well as the large Industrial 
School for Girls in the southern ward. All these 
schools are very numerously attended ; the gross 
number of pupils amounting to 1,200, those of the 
Oratory alone being 1,000. The kindness and con- 
sideration shown by the Roman Catholic teachers 
to the children of the poor is above all praise, not 
only in Kensington, but in all localities where they 
are under their charge ; and the love they receive 
from their pupils in return forms one of their most 
powerful engines in their system of proselytising." 

The chapel of St. Mary's above nientioned, in 
Holland Street, is close to the principal street in 
Kensington, and is thus described in the " Catholic 
Hand-book," published in 1857 : — "It is a plain, 
unpretending edifice, the cross upon its front being 
the only feature to distinguish it from an ordinary 
Dissenting meeting-house. Its interior has a re- 
markable air of neatness. The building itself is an 
oblong square, built north and south, and capable 
of accommodating about 300 persons. It is lit 
by three windows at the northern end, and one 
window at the eastern and western sides. It is 
devoid of ornament, except at the south end, w-here 
the altar is raised between two pillars. The body of 
the chapel is fitted with low open seats, and at the 
northern end is a spacious gallery." Being super- 
seded by other and larger ecclesiastical edifices, 
the old chapel is now used as a school-room. It 
was built about 1S12 by the family of Mr. Wheble, 
the manufacturer of the celebrated Kensington 
candles, who began life with a small shop in High 
Street, but died worth a quarter of a million. 

In Newland Terrace, on the south side of the 
main road, is the Church of Our Lady of Victories, 
which serves as a pro-cathedral, superseding the 
Church of St. Mary's, IMoorfields. It is a lofty 
Gothic structure of the Early EngHsh type, v\'ith 
some details approaching more nearly to the Deco- 
rated style. It consists of a nave and side aisles, 
and a shallow chancel, in which is the throne of the 
archiepiscopal see of Westminster. The vrindows 
of the apse are filled with stained glass. 

In the Kensington Road is the " Adam and Eve " 
public-house, where Sheridan, on his way to or 
from Holland House, regularly stopped for a dram ; 
and there he ran up a long bill, which, as we learn 
from Moore's diary, Lord Holland had to pay. 






"High o'er the neighbouring lands, 
'Midst greens and sweets, a regal fabric stands." — Tichell. 

Situation of Kensington Palace— Houses near it — Kensington Palace Gardens — The " King's Arms "—Henry VIII. 's Conduit— Palace Green— 
The Kensington Volunteers — The Water Tower — Thackeray's House: his Death — Description of the Palace— The Chapel— The Principal 
Pictures formerly shown here — Early History of the Building — William III. and Dr. Radcliffe — A "Scene" in the Royal Apartments — 
Death of Queen Mary and William III. — Queen Anne and the Jacobites — "Scholar Dick," and his Fondness for the Bottle— Lax Manners 
of the Court under the Early Georges — Death of George II. — The Princess Sophia — Caroline, Princess of Wales — Balls and Parties given 
by her Royal Highness — An Undignified Act — The Duke of Sussex's Hospitality — Birth of the Princess Victoria — Her Baptism — Death of 
William IV., and Accession of Queen Victoria — Her First Council — Death of the Duke of Sussex — The Duchess of Inverness — Other 
Royal Inhabitants. 

As in France, so also in England, nearly all the 
palaces of royalty are located outside the city. 
Greenwich, Eltham, Hatfield, Theobalds, Nonsuch, 
Enfield, Havering-atte-Bower, Oatlands, Hampton 
Court, Kew, Richmond, all in turn, as well as Ken- 
sington, have been chosen as residences for our 
sovereigns. Kensington Palace, though actually 
situated in the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster, 
is named from the adjoining town, to which it would 
more naturally seem to belong, and it stands in 
grounds about 350 acres in extent. 

Palace Gate House, a spacious mansion, with 
ornamental elevation, standing on the north side 
of the High Street, near the entrance to the 

Palace, was long the residence of the late Mr. 
John Forster, the historian, biographer, and critic, 
and the friend of Charles Dickens. A broad road- 
Avay, leading from the High Street of Kensington 
to the Bayswater Road, and known as Kensington 
Palace Gardens, contains several costly mansions, 
including one of German-Gothic design, built for 
the Earl of Harrington in 1852. 

In the High Street, close by the entrance to the 
Palace, is the " King's Arms " Tavern, at which 
Addison was a frequent visitor, when he took up 
his abode in his adopted home at Holland House 
as the husband of Lady Warwick. 

On the west side of Palace Green, in what was 




formerly called the King's Garden, Henry VIII. is 
said to have built a conduit, or bath, for the use of 
the Princess Elizabeth, when a child. It was a 
low building, with walls of great thickness, and the 
roof covered with bricks. The interior was in 
good preservation when Faulkner wrote his " His- 
tory of Kensington," and afforded a favourable 
specimen of the brickwork of the period. -^ 

It is clear, from an entry in the parish ^g 
books, though unnoticed by Faulkner, that 
Queen Elizabeth, at least on one occasion 
subsequent to her childhood, stayed within 
the parish, for the parish officers are rebuked 
and punished for not ringing " when Her 
INIajesty left Kensington." Probably this 

the last century. In 1801 an engraving was 
published, showing the presentation of colours to 
the regiment ; the original painting, together with 
the colours themselves — which were worked by 
the Duchess of Gloucester and her daughter, the 
Princess Sophia Matilda — are now in the Vestry 
Hall. In 1876 these colours were placed in front 



entry refers to some visit which she paid to Holland 
House, where no doubt she was entertained as a 
guest by the then owner, the old Earl of Holland, 
or by Sir Walter Cope, who built the original 
mansion. On Palace Green are the barracks for 
foot-soldiers, who still regularly mount guard at the 
Palace. The Green, called in ancient documents 
the " Moor," was the military parade when the 
Court resided here, and the royal standard was 
hoisted on it dail3% 

Among the historical associations of this place 
must not be overlooked the Old Kensington 
Volunteers, which was formed towards the close of 

of the Princess Louise, when she opened the New 
National Schools here, and the vicar of Kensing- 
ton drew the attention of her Royal Highness to 
this work of her ancestors. Dr. Callcott, whom 
we have already mentioned as living near the 
Gravel Pits, was band-master in the above corps, 
which was disbanded at the Peace of Amiens, and 
also in the Kensington Corps of Volunteer In- 
fantry, which was established in 1803. 

On this green there stood formerly a water-tower 
of singular construction ; it was built in the reign 
of Queen Anne, but had long ceased to be used 
when Faulkner wrote his " History of Kensington" 




ill 1S20. It was of red brick, and consisted of 
three storeys, surrounded by two heavy battle- 
mented turrets ; it is said to have been designed 
by Sir John Vanbrugh. The tower was removed 
in 1850. 

In 1846, Thackeray removed from London to 
Kensington, taking up his abode at No. 13, Young 
Street, which connects the Square witlr the High 
Street, occupying also by day, for working pur- 
poses, chambers at 10, Crown Office Row, Temple. 
He afterwards removed to Onslow Square, Bromp- 
ton ; but about 1S61, or the following year, he 
again removed to the more congenial neighbour- 
hood of Kensington 
Palace, and took up his 
permanent abode in the 
" Old Court Suburb," 
about which Leigh Hunt 
has gossiped so plea- 
santly. He took on a 
long lease a somewhat 
dilapidated mansion, on 
the west side of Palace 
Gardens. His intention 
at first was to repair and 
improve it, but he finally 
resolved to pull it clown, 
and build a new house 
in its place. This, a 
handsome, solid mansion 
of choice red brick, 
with stone facings, v;as 
built from his own de- 
signs, and he occupied 
it until his death, '• It 

Avas," remarks ^Ir. James Hannay, " a dwelling 
worthy of one who really represented literature in 
the great world, and who, planting himself on his 
books, yet sustained the character of liis profession 
with all the dignity of a gentleman." A friend who 
called on him there from Edinburgh, in the summer 
of 1862, knowing of old his love of the poet of 
Venusia, playfully reminded liim what Horace says 
of those who, regardless of their death, employ 
themselves in building houses : — 

' ' Sepulchri 
Immemor stniis domos." 

" Nay," said he, " I am incinor srpulcliri, for this 
house will always let for so many hundreds " — men- 
tioning the sum — " a year." Thackeray was always 
of opinion, that notwithstanding the somewhat 
costly proceeding of pulling down and re-erecting, 
he had achieved the rare result for a private 
gentleman, of building for himself a house which. 


regarded as an investment of a portion of his 
fortune, left no cause for regret. 

Islx. John Forster has told us, in his " Life of 
Charles Dickens," how the latter met Thackeray 
at the Athenaeum Club, just a week before his 
death, and shook hands with him at parting, little 
thinking that it was for the last time. " There had 
been some estrangement between them since the 
autumn of 1S58. . . . Thackeray, justly indignant 
at a published description of himself by a member 
of a club to which both he and Dickens belonged 
(the Garrick), referred the matter to the committee, 
who decided to expel the writer. Dickens, think- 
ing expulsion too harsh 
a penalty for an offence 
thoughtlessly given, and, 
as far as might be, man- 
fully atoned for by with- 
drawal and regret, inter- 
posed to avert tlie ex- 
tremity. Thackeray re- 
sented the interference, 
and Dickens was justly 
hurt at the manner 
in which he did so. 
Neither," adds Air. For- 
ster, '• was wholly in the 
right, nor was either alto- 
gether in the wrong." 
The anair, however, is 
scarcely v.'orth being 
added as a fresh chapter 
to the " Quarrels of 
Authors." Thackeray 
had often suftered from 
serious illness, so that his daughter was not much 
alarmed at finding him in considerable pain and 
suffering on V/ednesday, the 23rd of December, 
1S63. He complained of pain when his servant 
left his room, wishing him "good-night," and in 
the morning, on entering, the manservant found 
him dead. He had passed away in tlie night from 
an effusion of blood on the brain. 

Mr. Hannay wrote : — "Thackeray is dead; and 
the purest English prose writer of the nineteenth 
century, and the novelist with a greater knowledge 
of the human heart as it really is tlian any one — 
with the exception, perhaps, of Sliakespeare and 
Balzac — is suddenly struck down in the midst of 
us. In the midst of us ! No long illness, no 
lingering decay, no gradual suspension of power; 
almost pen in hand, like Kempenfelt, he went 
down. "Well said tlie Examiner — ' AVhatever little 
feuds may have gathered about Mr. Thackeray's 
public life lay lightly on the suruxce of the minds 




that chanced to be in contest with him. They 
could be thro\vn olif in a moment, at the first shock 
of the news that he was dead.' It seemed im- 
possible to realise the fact. No other celebrity — 
be he writer, statesman, artist, actor — seemed so 
thoroughly a portion of London. That ' good grey 
head which all men knew ' was as easy of recog- 
nition as his to whom the term applied, the Duke 
of Wellington. Scarcely a day passed without his 
being seen in the Pali-Mall districts ; and a Lon- 
doner showing to ' country cousins ' the wonders 
of the metropolis, generally knew how to arrange 
for them to get a sight of the great English 

The palace has been described as a ''plain 
brick building, of no particular style or period, but 
containing a heterogeneous mass of dull apart- 
ments, halls, and galleries, presenting externally no 
single feature of architectural beauty ; the united 
effect of its ill-proportioned divisions being irregular 
and disagreeable in the extreme." This criticism 
can hardly be considered too severe. Certain por- 
tions of the exterior, it is true, are admired as fine 
specimens of brickwork in their v.-ay ; but it cannot 
be concealed that the general effect of the brick is 
mean and poor. 

The following particulars of the interior of the 
palace, some of which stand good even at the 
present day, we glean from John Timbs' " Curio- 
sities of London," pubhshed in 1855: — "The 
great staircase, of black and white marble, and 
graceful ironwork (the walls painted by Kent with 
mythological subjects in chiaroscuro, and archi- 
tectural and sculptural decoration), leads to the 
suite of twelve state apartments, some of which 
are hung with tapestry, and have painted ceilings. 
The ' Presence Chamber' has a chimney-piece richly 
sculptured by Gibbons, with flowers, fruits, and 
heads ; the ceiling is diapered red, blue, and gold 
upon a white field, copied by Kent from Hercula- j 
neum ; and the pier-glass is wreathed with flowers, 
by Jean Baptiste Monnoyer. The ' King's Galler}%' 
in the south front, has an elaborately painted alle- 
gorical ceiling, and a circular fresco of a ^Madonna, 
after Raphael. ' The Cube Room ' is forty feet 
in height, and contains gilded statues and busts, 
and a marble bas-relief of a Roman marriage, by 
Rysbrack. The ' King's Great Drawing-room ' 
was hung Vvith the then new paper, in imitation of 
the old velvet flock. The ' Queen's Gallery,' in the 
rear of the eastern front, continued northwards, has 
above the doorsvay the monogram of William and 
Mary ; and the pediment is enriched with fruits and 
flowers in high relief and wholly detached, probably 
carved by Gibbons. The ' Green Closet ' was the 

private closet of William III., and contained his 
writing table and escritoire ; and the ' Patchwork 
Closet ' had its walls and chairs covered with 
tapestry worked by Queen Mary." 

The palace contains a comfortable though far 
from splendid or tasteful suite of state apartments, 
the ceilings and staircases of which are ornamented 
Avith paintings by Kent. The grand staircase leads 
from the principal entrance to the palace, on the 
west, by a long corridor, the sides of which are 
painted to represent a gallery crowded with specta- 
tors on a Court day, in which the artist has intro- 
duced portraits of himself; of "Peter, the Wild 
Boy;" of Ulric, a Polish lad, page to George I. ; 
and of the Turks Mahomet and Mustapha, two of 
his personal attendants, who were taken prisoners 
by the Imperialists in Hungary, and who, having 
become converts to Christianity, obtained posts at 
Coint. Mahomet was extremely charitable, and 
Pope thus records his personal worth : — 

" From peer or bishop 'tis no easy thing 
To draw tlie man who loves his God and king. 
Alas ! I copy (or my draught would fail) 
PVom honest Mahomet or from Parson Hale." 

The chapel royal is as plain and ordinary an 
apartment as a Scottish Presb}-terian would wish to 
see ; but it is remarkable for containing some fine 
communion plate. Divine service is performed 
here regularly by a chaplain to the household, and 
the public are admitted. 

The fine collection of historical paintings which 
once adorned the walls of Kensington Palace 
is unrecorded in Dr. "Waagen's " Art and Artists in 
England." The fact is that they have been, for 
the most part, dispersed, and many of them now 
are to be found at the Palace of Hampton Court, 
and other public buildings. Mr. George Scharf, 
F.S.A., in his "Notes on the Royal Picture Gal- 
leries," states that Kensington Palace, during the 
reign of George II., appears to have contained 
many, if not most, of the finest pictures. He 
especially notes Vandyck's pictures of King Charles 
and his Queen, Cupid and Psyche, and the same 
painter's "Three Children of Charles I.;" Queen 
Elizabeth in a Chinese dress, drawn when she was 
a prisoner at "Woodstock; Kneller's portraits of 
King William and Queen 'Mary, in their coronation 
robes (Kneller was knighted for painting these 
pictures) ; Tintoretto's grand pictures of " Esther 
fainting before Ahasuerus," and " Apollo and the 
Nine Muses." It appears that about the time of 
the fire at Whitehall, the series of old heads and 
foreign portraits were transferred to Kensington, 
as Vertue — on the title to his engravmgs of them, 




in "Rapin," published in 1736— mentions them as 
being in the latter palace ; and Walpole, in the 
first edition of his "Anecdotes" (1762), especially 
alludes to the early royal portraits at Kensington. 
He also speaks of a chamber of very ancient 
portraits — among them one of the Duke of Norfolk 
— as then existing in the Princess Dowager's house 
at Kew. A catalogue of these pictures was taken 
by Benjamin West, at the king's desire, in 1818. 
Unlike the portraits in most galleries, many of 
those at Kensington had no names attached to 
them ; and thus, if we may judge from a com- 
plaint made by the unfortunate Princess Caroline 
of Wales, their interest was in a great measure 
destroyed. The fine collection of Holbein's original 
drawings and designs for the portraits of the lead- 
ing personages in the Court of Henry VIH., now 
in the Royal Library at Windsor, was accidentally 
discovered by Queen Caroline in a bureau here, 
shortly after the accession of George H. 

The palace has a character of its own among 
the other residences of the royal family. Leigh 
Hunt hits the right nail on the head when he 
speaks of it as possessing "a Dutch solidity." " It 
can be imagined full of English comfort," he adds ; 
"it is quiet, in a good air, and, though it is a 
palace, no tragical history is connected with it ; 
all which considerations give it a sort of homely, 
fireside character, which seems to represent the 
domestic side of royalty itself, and thus renders 
an interesting service to what is not always so well 
recommended by cost and splendour. Windsor 
Castle is a place to receive monarchs in ; Bucking- 
ham Palace, to see fashion in ; Kensington Palace 
seems a place to drink tea in ; and this is by no 
means a state of things in which the idea of 
royalty comes least home to the good wishes of 
its subjects." 

The original mansion was the suburban resi- 
dence of Lord Chancellor Finch, afterwards Earl 
of Nottingham, and as such it bore the name of 
" Nottingham House," of which the lower portion 
of the present north wing is part. It was pur- 
chased for the sum of ;^2o,ooo from his successor 
by William HI.; and, as Northouck writes, "for 
its convenience and healthful situation for the 
king to reside in during the sitting of Parliament." 
Shortly after its purchase by the Crown, tlie house 
was nearly destroyed by fire, and the king himself 
had a narrow escape from being burned in his bed. 
The building was at first, comparatively speaking, 
small, and the grounds only occupied a few acres. 
Evelyn, in his " Memoirs," under date February 
25, 1690-1, says: "I went to Kensington, which 
King ^^'illiam has bought of Lord Nottingham, 

and altered, but was yet a patched-up building, 
but with the gardens, however, it is a very neat 
villa." The king found its sequestered situation 
congenial with his moody and apathetic disposition, 
and therefore resolved to make it a royal residence 
superseding Whitehall. The palace was con- 
siderably enlarged by William III., at the suggestion 
of Queen Mary, from designs by Sir Christopher 
Wren, and surrounded by straight cut solitary 
lawns, and formal stately gardens, laid out with paths 
and flower-beds at right angles, after the stiffest 
Dutch fashion. Queen Anne added very largely 
to the size of the house, and also to the beauty of 
the gardens, such as that beauty may have been. 
The orangery, a fine detached building at a little I 
distance on the north side, was built for her by 
Sir Christopher Wren. The eastern front of the 
palace itself was added by George I., from the 
designs of Kent. The north-western angle was 
added by George II., in order to form a nursery 
for his children ; and to his queen, Caroline of 
Anspach, we owe the introduction of the orna- 
mental water into the gardens and pleasure- 
grounds. The house, which had been growing all 
this time in size, was finally brought to its present 
size or appearance by the Duke of Sussex, who 
added or rebuilt the rooms that form the angle 
on the south-west. The Duchess of Kent's apart- 
ments were in the south-east part of the palace, 
under the King's Gallery. A melancholy interest 
hangs about the irregular pile, for within its walls 
died William HI. and his wife. Queen Mary; her 
sister. Queen Anne, and her consort. Prince George 
of Denmark, who \vas carried hence to his tomb 
in Westminster Abbey ; George II. ; and lastly, th? 
Queen's favourite uncle, the Duke of Sussex. 

Such, then, is a rough outline of the history of 
the once favourite residence of the House of 
Hanover. " In the metropolis of commerce," ob- 
serves Macaulay, " the point of convergence is the 
Exchange; in the metropolis of fashion it is the 
Palace." Tliis was eminently true, as we have 
seen, of the Palace at Whitehall in the days of the 
second Charles, who made his Court the centre of 
fashionable gaiety as well as of political intrigue. 
Under the first of our Hanoverian kings this centre 
was transferred to Kensington. But the centre had 
lost much of its attractiveness under them. " The 
Revolution," Macaulay writes, " gave us several 
kings, unfitted by their education and habits to be 
gracious and affable hosts. They had been born 
and bred upon the Continent. They never felt 
themselves at home on our island. If they spoke 
our language, they spoke it inelegantly and with 
effort. Our national character they never under- 





stood ; our national manners they hardly attempted 
to acquire. The most important part of their duty 
they performed better than any ruler that had pre- 
ceded them : for they governed strictly according 
to law ; but they could not be the first gentlemen 
of the realm — the heads of polite society. If ever 
they unbent, it was in a very small circle, where 
hardly an English face was to be seen ; and they 
were never so happy as when tliey could escape 
for a summer to their native land. They had, 
indeed, their days of reception for our nobility and 
gentry; but the reception was a matter of form, 
and became at last as solemn a ceremony as a 
funeral." To the head-quarters of the Court at 
Kensington these remarks are to be applied quite 

William III. usually held his Courts at Kensing- 
ton, and the decoration of the apartments of its 
palace was one of the chief amusements of his 
royal consort. And yet, fond as he v.-as of 
Kensington, King William would often say tliat he 
preferred to be hunting on tlie shores of Guelder- 
land rather than riding over the glades of this 
place or Hampton Court — a taste in which he was 
followed by George II. Indeed, with a natural 
love for his Dutch home, WiUiam made this palace 
and the gardens surrounding it look as much like 
his native country as he could. 

Although ^VilHam v/as not over-fond of his new 
subjects, and his Court, for the most part, was as 
gloomy as his gardens^ yet there still might occa- 
sionally be seen here some of the liveliest wits and 
courtiers that have left a name in history. Here 
came tlie Earl of Dorset, Prior's friend, who had 
been one of the wits of the Court of Charles II. ; 
Prior himself, too, was there, and succeeded in ob- 
taining an appointment as one of the "gentlemen 
of the king's bedchamber;" Congreve, whose plays 
were admired by Queen Mary ; Haliflix, who is 
spoken of as a "minor wit, but no mean states- 
man ;" Swift, and Sir William Temple ; Burnet, the 
gossiping historian, who afterwards became a bishop ; 
the Earl of Devonshire, "whose nobler zeal," as 
Leigh Hunt puts it, "had made him a duke, one 
of a family remarkable for their constant and happy 
combination of popular politics with all the graces 
of their rank." Among other visitors here at this 
period, too, were Lord Monmouth, afterwards Earl 
of Peterborough, " the friend of Swift and Pope, 
conqueror of Spain, and lover, at the age of seventy? 
of Lady Suftblk;" Sheffield, afterwards Duke of 
Buckinghamshire, " a minor Avit and poet, in love 
with (the rank of) the Princess Anne;'' and last 
not least, Peter the Great, the " semi-barbarian, the 
premature forcer of Russian pseudo-civilisation. 

who came to England in order to import the art of 
shipbuilding into his dominions in his own proper 
mechanical person." Peter is stated to have fre- 
quently dined at Kensington Palace ; and it has 
been wondered how the two sovereigns got on so 
well together. Leigh Hunt tells a storj^ how that 
one day the king took the Russian monarch to the 
House of Lords, when the latter, owing to a natural 
shyness, made the lords and the king himself 
laugh, by peeping strangely at them out of a 
window in the roof. He got the same kind of 
sight at the House of Commons ; and even at a 
ball at Kensington, on the Princess Anne's birth- 
day, he contrived to be invisibly present in a closet 
prepared for him on purpose, where he could see 
without being seen. 

Here, wlien William was ill with the dropsy, he 
called in the Court physician, Dr. Radcliffe, to 
pay him a professional visit. Showing him his 
swollen ankles, he exclaimed, " Doctor, what do 
you think of these?" "Why, truly," answered 
Radcliffe, "I would not have your Majesty's two 
legs for your three kingdoms." With this ill-timed 
jest, though it passed unnoticed at the moment, 
it is needless to add that the doctor's attendance 
on the Court at Kensington ceased. It is true 
that in 17 14 he was sent for by Queen Anne upon 
her death-bed ; but he was too ill to leave his 
house at Carshalton. His refusal, however, nearly 
exposed him to "lynch law," for the mob at the 
West End threatened to kill him if he came to 
London. The mob, however, was disappointed, 
for a few months later he died of the gout. 

The following story, relating to a scene which 
happened in the royal apartments here, we tell in 
the words of Lord Sackville, as they stand recorded 
in the gossiping pages of Sir N. W. Wraxall : — 
" j\Iy father, having lost his own mother when very 
young, was brought up chiefly by the Dowager 
Countess of Northampton, his grandmother, who 
being particularly acceptable to Queen Mary, she 
commanded the countess ahvays to bring her little 
grandson, Lord Buckhurst, to Kensington Palace, 
though at that time hardly four years of age ; and 
he was allowed to amuse himself with a child's 
cart in the gallery. King William, like almost all 
Dutchmen, never failed to attend the tea-table 
every evening. It happened that her Majesty 
having one afternoon, by hh desire, made tea, and 
waiting for the king's arrival, who was engaged in 
business in his cabinet, at the other extremity of 
the gallery, the boy, hearing the queen express her 
impatience at the delay, ran away to the closet, 
dragging after him the cart. When he arrived at 
I the door, he knocked, and the king asked, ' Who 




is there ? ' ' Lord Buck/ answered he. ' And 
what does Lord Buck want with me ? ' rephed 
his Majesty. * You must come to tea directly,' 
said he ; ' the queen is waiting for you.' King 
WiUiam immediately laid down his pen, and opened 
the door ; then taking the child in his arms, placed 
Lord Buckhurst in the cart, and seizing the pole, 
drew them both along the galler}^, quite to the room 

Queen Mary, consort of William III., died here 
of the small-pox, and the king's attachment to the 
palace is said to have increased, from the circum- 
stance of its having been the scene of the last 
acts of the queen, who was justly entitled to his 
affection. It was here that the king also died, in 
consequence of an accident in riding at Hampton 
Court a few days previously. The readers of 



in which were seated the queen. Lady Northampton, 
and the company. But no sooner had he entered 
the apartment than, exhausted witli the effort, which 
had forced the blood upon his lungs, and being 
naturally asthmatic, threw himself into a chair, and 
for some minutes was incapable of uttering a word, 
breathing with the utmost difficulty. The Countess 
of Northampton, shocked at the consequences of 
her grandson's indiscretion, which threw the whole 
circle into great consternation, would have punished 
him ; but the king interposed in his behalf ; and 
the story is chiefly interesting because (as serving 
to show how kindly he could behave to a trouble- 
some child) it places that prince in a more amiable 
point ot view than he is commonly represented 
in history." 

Macaulay will not have forgotten the picture which 
he draws in the very last page of his history, when 
William, knowing that death was approaching, sent 
for his friends Albemarle, Auverquerque, and 
Bentinck, while Bishops Burnet and Tillotson read 
the last prayers by his bedside. After his Majesty's 
death, bracelets composed of the queen's hair were 
found upon his arm. 

The Court at Kensington in Queen Anne's time 
was not much livelier than it had been in that of 
King William. Swift describes Anne, in a circle 
of twenty visitors, as sitting with her fan in her 
mouth, saying about three words once a minute to 
those that were near her, and then, upon hearing 
that dinner was ready, going out. Addison and 
Steele might have been occasionally seen at her 

Kensington Palace.] 



Kensington levees, among the Whigs ; and Swift^ 
Prior, and Bolingbroke among the Tories. Marl- 
borough would be there also ; his celebrated 
duchess, Sarah Jennings, had entered upon a court 
life at an early age as one of the companions of 
Anne during the princess's girlhood. 

The last memorable interview between Queen 
Anne and the Duke of Marlborough took place 
here. When Queen Anne was lying in the agonies 

on Queen Anne, had their dinner here; and he 
tells us that Richard Steele liked the latter far 
better than his own chair at the former, "where 
there was less wine and more ceremony." Steele, 
who came to London in the suite of the Duke of 
Ormond, figures in the above work as "Scholar 
Dick ; " he was one of the gentlemen ushers or 
members of the king's guard at Kensington. 

When Esmond comes to England, after being 

KENSINGTON IN 1764. {From Rocquis Map.) 

of death, and the Jacobite party were correspon- 
dingly in the agonies of hope and expectation, 
two noblemen of the highest rank — John, Duke of 
Argyll, and the "proud" Duke of Somerset, who 
had been superseded in office at the time of the 
union with Scotland — suddenly, and unbidden, 
appeared at the council, and their unexpected 
presence is said to have stifled Lord Bolingbroke's 
designs, if he ever entertained any, of recalling the 
exiled Stuarts. On such slight events — accidents 
as we often call them — do the fates of dynasties, 
and indeed of whole nations, depend. 

We learn from Thackeray's " Esmond " that 

while the royal guard had a very splendid table 

laid out for them at St. James's, the gentlemen 

ushers who waited on King William, and afterwards 


wounded at Blenheim, he finds Mrs. Beatrix in- 
stalled as a lady-in-waiting at the palace, and 
thenceforth "all his hopes and desires lay within 
Kensington Park wall." 

George L, whose additions to the palace were 
the cupola-room and the great staircase, frequently 
resided here, as also did his successor, George IL 
Here, free from the restraint caused by Sir Robert 
Walpole's presence, the latter king, when angry 
with his ministers or his attendants, would fly into 
furious rages, expending his anger even on his 
innocent wig ; whilst his clever spouse. Queen 
Caroline, stood by, maintaining her dignity and self- 
possession, and, consequently, her ascendancy over 
him, and acting as a " conducting wire " between 
the sovereign and the premier, A good story is 



[Kensington Palace. 

told by Horace Walpole, showing the lax and 
rompuig manners of the Court under the early 
Georges : — " There has been a great fracas at Ken- 
sington (he \vrites in 1742). One of the mesdames 
(the princesses) pulled the chair from under Countess 
Deloraine at cards, who, being provoked that her 
monarch was diverted with her disgrace, with the 
malice of a hobby-horse gave him just such another 
fall. But, alas ! the monarch, like Louis XIV., is 
mortal in the part that touched the ground, and 
was so hurt and so angry, that the countess is dis- 
graced, and her German rival remains in the sole 
and quiet possession of her royal master's favour." 
The Countess of Deloraine was governess to the 
young princesses, daughters of George II., and 
was a favourite with the king, with whom she 
generally played cards in the evenings in the prin- 
cesses' apartments. Sir Robert Walpole considered 
her as a dangerous person about the Court, for she 
possessed, said the shrewd minister, "a weak head, 
a pretty face, a lying tongue, and a false heart." 
Lord Hervey, in his " Court Ballad," written in 
1742, sarcastically styles her '■'■virtuous, and sober, 
and wise Deloraine ;" and in his " Memoirs," under 
date of 1735, he describes her as "one of the 
vainest as well as one of the simplest women that 
ever lived ; but to this wretched head," he adds, 
"there was certainly joined one of the prettiest 
faces that ever was formed, which, though she was 
now five-and-thirty, had a bloom upon it, too, that 
not one woman in ten thousand has at fifteen." 

George II. died quite suddenly as he sat at 
breakfast in the palace, on Saturday, October 25, 
1760. The building underwent considerable altera- 
tions during his reign, and he was the last monarch 
who resided here, George III. having chosen as 
his homes St. James's Palace, Kew Gardens, and 
Buckingham House. 

The palace, too, was the home of the Princess 
Sophia, the poor blind daughter of George III. 
Miss Amelia Murray, in her " Recollections," 
speaks of having constantly spent an evening with 
her in her apartments here, and bears testimony to 
the goodness of her disposition, as "an example 
of patient and unmurmuring endurance such as 
can rarely be met with." 

Here, too, the unfortunate Caroline, Princess of 
Wales, was living from 1810 down to 1814, when 
she removed to Connaught Place. Here she held, 
if we may so speak, her rival Court, and kept up a 
kind of triangular duel with her royal husband, 
and her wayward child, the Princess Charlotte, not 
at all to the edification of those around her, who 
were obliged to feel and to own that, injured as 
she undoubtedly was by one who had sworn to 

love and cherish her, she did but little to win the 
respect and regard of either the Court or the 
nation at large. The hangers-on of the Princess 
would seem to have been of the ordinary type of 
"summer friends." At all events, one of her 
ladies in waiting writes thus, with a vein of un- 
conscious sarcasm: "These noblemen and their 
wives continued to visit her royal highness the 
Princess of Wales till the old king was declared 
too ill to reign, and the Prince became in fact 
regent ; then those ladies disappeared that moment 
from Kensington, and were never seen there 
more. It was the besom of expediency which 
swept them all away." It appears, however, that 
the Princess of Wales was well aware that her 
hangers-on were not very disinterested. At all 
events, she writes : " Unless I do show dem de 
knife and fork, no company has come to Kensing- 
ton or Blackheath, and neither my purse nor my 
spirits can always afford to hang out de offer of 
' an ordinary.' " 

The friends of the Princess formed a circle by 
themselves. It included Lord and Lady Henry 
Fitz-Gerald, Lady C. Lindsay, Lord Rivers, Mr. H. 
(afterwards Lord) Brougham, Lord and Lady 
Abercorn, Sir Humphrey Davy, Lady Anne 
Hamilton, Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Cell, Mr. 
Craven, Sir J. Mackintosh, Mr. R. Payne Knight, 
Mr. and Lady E. Whitbread, Lord and Lady Grey, 
and Lord Erskine — a most strange and heteroge- 
neous medley. Very frequently the dinners at Ken- 
sington were exceedingly agreeable, the company 
well chosen, and sufficient liberty given to admit of 
their conversing with unrestrained freedom. This 
expression does not imply a licentious mode of 
conversation, although sometimes discretion and 
modesty were trenched upon in favour of wit. 
Still, that was by no means the general turn of the 

One of the ladies of the Princess Caroline writes, 
under date of 18 10 : " The Princess often does the 
most extraordinary things, apparently for no other 
purpose than to make her attendants stare. Very 
frequently she will take one of her ladies with her 
to walk in Kensington Gardens, who are accordingly 
dressed' [it may be] in a costume very unsuited to 
the public highway ; and, all of a sudden, she will 
bolt out at one of the smaller gates, and walk all 
over Bayswater, and along the Paddington Canal, 
at the risk of being insulted, or, if known, mobbed, 
enjoying the terror of the unfortunate attendant 
who may be destined to walk after her. One day, 
her royal highness inquired at all the doors of 
Bayswater and its neighbourhood if there were any 
houses to be let, and went into many of them, till 

Kensington Palace.] 



at last she came to one where some children of a 
friend of hers (Lord H. F.) were placed for change 
of air, and she was quite enchanted to be known 
by them, and to boast of her extraordinary mode 
of walking over the country." 

Her royal highness gave plenty of balls and 
parties whilst residing here, and amused herself 
pretty well as she chose. In 181 1 she is thus 
described by Lady Brownlow, in her " Reminis- 
cences of a Septuagenarian : " — '' I had scarcely 
ever seen the Princess, and hardly knew her by 
sight. At the time of which I speak, her figure 
was fat and somewhat shapeless ; her face had 
probably been pretty in youth, for her nose was 
well formed, her complexion was good, and she 
had bright blue eyes ; but their expression was 
bold — this, however, might be partly caused by 
the quantity of rouge which she wore. Her fair 
hair hung in masses of curls on each side of her 
throat, like a Uon's mane. Everybody, before the 
peace with France, dressed much according to 
their individual taste ; and her royal highness 
was of a showy turn : her gowns were generally 
ornamented with gold or silver spangles, and her 
satin boots were also embroidered with them. 
Sometimes she wore a scarlet mantle, with a gold 
trimming round it, hanging from her shoulders ; 
and as she swam, so attired, down an English 
dance, with no regard to the figure, the effect was 
rather strange. . . . The princess's parties 
themselves," Lady Brownlow continues, " were 
marvellously heterogeneous in their composition. 
There were good people, and very bad ones, fine 
ladies and fine gentlemen, humdrums and clever 
people ; among the latter the Rev. Sydney Smith, 
Avho, I thought, looked out of place there. . . . 
Her royal highness made rather a fuss with us, 
and we both always supped at her table. On one 
occasion I was much amused at seeing my father 
opposite to me, seated between the Duchess of 
Montrose and Lady Oxford. Sure never were 
there more incongruous supporters ; and my 
father's countenance was irresistibly comic. ' Me- 
thought,' said he, as we drove home, ' that I was 
Hercules between Virtue and Vice.' " 

The following anecdote of her royal highness 
shows how little of good sense or dignity she 
possessed : — " One day, the Princess set out to 
walk, accompanied by myself and one of her 
ladies, round Kensington Gardens. At last, being 
wearied, her royal highness sat down on a bench 
occupied by two old persons, and she conversed 
with them, to my infinite amusement, they being 
perfectly ignorant who she was. She asked them 
all manner of questions about herself, to which 

they replied favourably ; but her lady, I observed, 
was considerably alarmed, and was obliged to 
draw her veil over her face to prevent betraying 
herself; and every moment I was myself afraid that 
something not so favourable might be expressed 
by these good people. Fortunately, this was not 
the case, and her royal highness walked away 
undiscovered, having informed them that, if they 
would be at such a door at such an hour at 
the palace on any day, they would meet with the 
Princess of Wales, to see whom they expressed 
the strongest desire. This Haroun Al-Raschid 
expedition passed off happily, but I own I 
dreaded its repetition." 

On another occasion her royal highness made 
a party to go to a small cottage in the neighbour- 
hood of Bayswater, where she could feel herself 
unshackled by the restraints of royalty and 
etiquette ; there she received a set of persons 
wholly unfit to be admitted to her society. It 
is true that, since the days of Mary of Scotland 
(when Rizzio sang in the Queen's closet), and in 
the old time before her, all royal persons have 
delighted in some small retired place or apartment, 
where they conceived themselves at liberty to cast 
off the cares of their high station, and descend 
from the pedestal of power and place to taste the 
sweets of private life. But in all similar cases, this 
attempt to be what they were not has only proved 
injurious to them : every station has its price — its 
penalty. By the Princess, especially, a more un- 
wise or foolish course could not have been pursued, 
than this imitation of her unfortunate sister-queen 
of France. All the follies, though not the elegance 
and splendour, of Le Petit Trianon were aped in 
the rural retreat of Bayswater; and the Princess's 
foes were not backward at seizing upon this 
circumstance, and turning it (as well they might) to 
effect her downfall. 

"Monk" Lewis, under date November, 181 1, 
^vrites : " I have neither seen nor heard anything of 
the Princess since she removed to Blackheath, 
except a report that she is in future to reside at 
Hampton Court, because the Princess Charlotte 
wants the apartments at Kensington ; but I cannot 
believe that the young princess, who has been 
always described to me as so partial to her mother, 
would endure to turn her out of her apartments, or 
suffer it to be done. I have also been positively 
assured, that the Prince has announced that the 
first exertion of his power will be to decide the fate 
of the Princess ; and that Perceval, even though he 
demurred at endeavouring to bring about a divorce, 
gave it to be understood that he should have no 
objection to her being excluded from the corona- 



[Kensington Palace. 

tion, and exiled to Holyrood House." Here the 
Princess was living in 18 13, when she received the 
address of sympathy from the citizens of London — 
an address which was regarded by the Prince as 
the first step towards defying his authority. 

The Duke of Sussex, whilst occupying apart- 
ments here, used to entertain his friends hospitably. 
Among others who dined here was Mr. Rush, am- 
bassador from the United States in 1819-25, who 
gives us the following sketch : — 

" The duke sat at the head of his table in 
true old English style, and was full of cordiality 
and conversation. . . . General principles of 
government coming to be spoken of, he expatiated 
on the blessings of free government, declaring that 
as all men, kings as well as others, were prone to 
abuse powe"r when they got to prrsess it, the 
only safe course was to limit its exercise by the 
strictest constitutional rules. In the palace of 
kings, and from the son and brother of a king," 
adds the honest and sensible republican, " I should 
not have been prepared for this declaration, but 
that it was not the first time that I had heard him 
converse in the same way." The duke continued 
to reside in this palace till his death. He was very 
fond of the long room on the first floor, which he 
made his library, and where he received visitors. 
The interior of the room has been often engraved. 

But that which invests Kensington Palace with 
the greatest interest is the fact that it was the 
residence of the late Duke and Duchess of Kent, 
in the year 18 19, and consequently the birth-place 
of her present Majesty, who spent here nearly all 
her infancy, and the greater part of her youthful 
days. In the Gardens, as a child, the Princess 
Victoria used daily to take her walk, or ride in a 
goat or donkey carriage, attended by her nurses. 
Her most gracious Majesty was born at a quarter 
past four o'clock in the morning of the 24th of 
May, 18 1 9, and on the 24th of the following month 
she was christened in the grand saloon of the 
palace by the name of Alexandrina Victoria. The 
reason of the choice of these two names is thus 
explained by the Hon. Amelia Murray, in her 
"Recollections :" — ''It was beheved that the Duke 
of Kent wished to name his child Elizabeth, that 
being a popular name with the English people. 
But the Prince Regent, who was not kind to his 
brothers, gave notice that he should stand in person 
as one godfather, and that the Emperor of Russia 
was to be another. At the baptism, when asked 
by the Archbishop of Canterbury to name the 
infant, the Prince Regent gave only the name of 
'Alexandrina;' but the duke requested that one 
other name might be added: ' Give her her mother's 

also, then ; but,' he added, ' it cannot precede that 
of the Emperor.' The Queen, on her accession, 
commanded that she should be proclaimed as 
' Victoria ' only." 

We learn incidentally from Mr. Raikes' "Journal " 
that on the Princess Victoria coming of age, on the 
24th of May, 1837, it was proposed by her uncle, 
the king, to form for her here an establishment of 
her own ; but that the idea was " combated by her 
mother, as it would have given the nomination of 
the appointments to the then Court party." The 
death of King WiUiam, however, which happened 
very shortly afterwards, put an end to the idea. 
On the 20th of June following, only a month after 
attaining her majority, as a girl of eighteen, she 
was waited upon here early in the morning by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the then Lord 
Chamberlain, the Marquis of Conyngham, to receive 
the news that she was Queen of England ! 

For the following longer and more detailed 
account of the affair we are indebted to the " Diary 
of a Lady of Quality : " — " At Kensington Palace 
the Princess Victoria received the intelligence of 
the death of William IV., June, 1837. On the 
20th, at 2 a.m., the scene closed, and in a very 
short time the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord 
Conyngham, the Chamberlain, set out to announce 
the event to their young sovereign. They reached 
Kensington Palace about five ; they knocked, they 
rang, they thumped for a considerable time before 
they could rouse the porter at the gate ; they were 
again kept waiting in the court-yard ; they turned 
into one of the lower rooms, where they seemed 
forgotten by everybody. They rang the bell, 
desired that the attendant of the Princess Victoria 
might be sent to inform H.R.H. that they requested 
an audience on business of importance. After 
another delay, and another ringing to inquire the 
cause, the attendant was summoned, who stated 
that the Princess was in ' such a sweet sleep she 
could not venture to disturb her. Then they said, 
' We are come to the Qtieen on business of state, 
and even her sleep must give way to that.' It did ; 
and, to prove that she did not keep them waiting, 
in a fpw minutes she came into the room in a 
loose white nightgown and shawl, her nightcap 
thrown off, and her hair falling upon her shoulders, 
her feet in slippers, tears in her eyes, but perfectly 
collected and dignified." 

In this trying moment, though supported by her 
mother's presence, she gave vent to the feelings of 
her heart by bursting into a flood of tears as she 
thought of the responsibilities which had devolved 
upon her, and begged the Archbishop's prayers. 

The story of Her Majesty's accession, and the 

Kensington Palace.] 



account of her fiist council, is thus told in the 
"Greville Memoirs :" — "1837, June 21. The King 
died at twenty minutes after t\vo yesterday morning, 
and the young Queen met the council at Kensington 
Palace at eleven. Never was anything like the 
first impression she produced, or the chorus of 
praise and admiration which is raised about her 
manner and behaviour, and certainly not without 
justice. It was very extraordinary and far beyond 
what was looked for. Her extreme youth and in- 
experience, and the ignorance of the world con- 
cerning her, naturally excited intense curiosity to 
see how she would act on this trying occasion, and 
there was a considerable assemblage at the palace, 
notwithstanding the short notice that was given. 
The first thing that was to be done was to teach 
her her lesson, which, for this purpose, Melbourne 
had himself to learn. I gave him the council 
papers, and explained all that was to be done, and 
he went and explained all this to her. He asked 
her if she would enter the room accompanied by 
the great officers of state, but she said she would 
come in alone. When the lords were assembled, the 
Lord President informed them of the King's death, 
and suggested, as they were so numerous, that a few 
of them should repair to the presence of the Queen, 
and inform her of the event, and that their lordships 
were assembled in consequence ; and, accordingly, 
the two royal dukes, the two archbishops, the 
chancellor, and Melbourne, went ^\ith him. The 
Queen received them in the adjoining room alone. 
As soon as they had returned, the proclamation 
was read, and the usual order passed, when the 
doors were thrown open, and the Queen entered, 
accompanied by her two uncles, who advanced to 
meet her. She bowed to the lords, took her seat, 
and then read her speech in a clear, distinct, and 
audible voice, and without any appearance of fear 
or embarrassment. She was quite plainly dressed, 
and in mourning. After she had read her speech 
and taken and signed the oath for the security of 
the Church of Scotland, the Privy Councillors were 
sworn, the two royal dukes first by themselves ; and 
as these two old men, her uncles, knelt before her, 
swearing allegiance and kissing her hand, I saw 
her blush up to the eyes, as if she felt the contrast 
between their several and natural relations; and this 
was the only sign of emotion she evinced. Her 
manner to them was very graceful and engaging. 
She kissed them both, and moved towards the 
Duke of Sussex, who was furthest from her seat, and 
too infirm to reach her. She seemed rather be- 
wildered at the multitude of men who were sworn, 
and who came one after another to kiss her hand ; 
but she did not speak to anybody, nor did she 

make the slightest difference in her manner, on 
show any in her countenance to any individual of 
any rank, station, or party. I particularly watched 
her when Melbourne and her ministers, and the 
Duke of Wellington and Peel approached her. She 
went through the whole ceremony, occasionally 
looking at Melbourne for instructions when she had 
any doubt what to do, and with perfect calmness 
and self-possession, but, at the same time, with a 
modesty and propriety particularly interesting and 
ingratiating. When the business was done she 
retired as she had entered, and I could see that 
no one was in the adjoining room." 

The scene at Kensington Palace on the above 
occasion is thus described by Mr. Rush, from 
the lips of the late Lord Clarendon, one of the 
Privy Councillors present at the time : — " Lord 
Lansdo^vne, the president, announced to the 
council that they had met on the occasion of 
the demise of the crown ; then with some others 
of the body, including the Premier, he left the 
council for a short time, when all returned with 
the Princess. She entered, leaning upon the arm 
of her uncle, the Duke of Sussex. The latter 
had not before been in the council-room, but 
resides in the same palace, and had been witli 
the Princess in an adjoining apartment. He con- 
ducted her to a chair at the head of the council. 
A short time after she took her seat, she read the 
declaration which the sovereign makes on coming to 
the throne, and took the oath to govern the realm 
according to law, and cause justice to be executed 
in mercy. The members of the council then suc- 
cessively kneeled, one knee bending, and kissed 
the young queen's hand as she extended it to each 
— for now she was the veritable Queen of England. 
Lord Clarendon described the whole ceremony as 
performed in a very appropriate and graceful manner 
by the young lady. Some timidity was discernible 
at first, as she came into the room in the presence 
of the cabinet and privy councillors ; but it soon 
disappeared, and a becoming self-possession took 
its place. He noticed her discretion in not talking, 
except as the business of the ceremonial made it 
proper, and confining herself chiefly, when she spoke, 
to Lord Melbourne, as official head of the Ministry, 
and to her uncle, the Duke of Sussex." 

The author of " The Diary of a Lady of Quality "' 
thus describes the first meeting of the Privy 
Council of the youthful queen, which differs only 
in some slight particulars from the accounts given 
above : " The first act of the reign was, of course, 
the summoning of the council, and most of the 
summonses were not received till after the early 
hour fixed for its meeting. The Queen was, upon 



[Kensington Palace. 

the opening of the doors, found sitting at the head 
of the table. She received first the homage of the 
Duke of Cumberland, who, I suppose, was not king 
of Hanover when he knelt to her; the Duke of 
Sussex rose to perform the same ceremony, but 
the Queen, with admirable grace, stood up, and 
preventing him from kneeling, kissed him on the 
forehead. The crowd was so great, the arrange- 
ments were so ill-made, that my brothers told me 

Here, on the 21st of April, 1843, died, at the age 
of seventy, Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex. 
Mr. T. Raikes, in his "Journal," says of him : " He 
was a stout, coarse-looking man, of a free habit, 
plethoric, and subject to asthma. He lived at 
Kensington Palace, and was married to Lady 
Cecilia Gore, who had been made Duchess of 
Inverness by the Whigs. He had married pre- 
viously, in 1793, Lady Augusta Murray; but that 


the scene of swearing allegiance to their young 
sovereign was more like that of the bidding at an 
auction than anything else." 

The state document signed by the youthful 
sovereign is to be seen in the Record Office. Sir 
David ^Vilkie has painted the scene, but with a 
difference. The picture, it may be added, is well 
known to the public, thanks to the engraver's 
art. It may be a matter of wonder that the Lord 
Mayor of London (Alderman Kelly), should have 
figured in this picture ; but on the sovereign's 
death the Lord Mayor is the only officer in the 
kingdom whose commission still holds good ; and 
as such he takes his place, by virtue of his office, 
at the Privy Council board until the new sovereign 
is proclaimed. 

marriage had been dissolved on the plea of the 
duke not obtaining his father's consent. He was 
always on bad terms with George IV., and under 
the weak government of William IV. he took the 
Radical line, courted the Whigs, and got the 
rangership of a royal park." He was buried at 
Kensal' Green. His royal highness was, perhaps, 
the most popular of the sons of George III. He 
had a magnificent library at Kensington, including 
one of the finest collection of Bibles in the world, 
which was dispersed, soon after his death, under 
the hammer of the auctioneer. His widow, the 
Duchess of Inverness, was allowed to occupy his 
apartments until her death, in 1873. Under date 
of Sunday, 29th March, 1840, Mr. Raikes writes 
in his " Journal : " " The Duke of Sussex claims 

Kensington Palace.] 



from the Whig Ministry the public acknowledg- 
ment of his marriage with Lady Cecilia Underwood, 
and an addition of ^6,000 a year to his income. 
This is the explanation : on the question of Prince 
Albert's precedence they first appUed to the Duke 
of Sussex for his acquiescence, which he most 

and professed to be the first to meet her wishes, 
but stipulating also that he expected a great favour 
for himself in return. This now proves to have 
been his object in view." 

Shortly after the death of the duke, the following 
paragraph, headed " The late * Duchess of Sussex,'" 


violently refused. They then went to the Duke of 
Cambridge with the same request, to which he made 
less difficulty, saying, that he wished to promote 
harmony in the family, and as it could not prevent 
him from being the son of his father, if the Duke 
of Sussex consented, he should not object. Lord 
Melbourne then returned to the latter, saying that 
the Duke of Cambridge had agreed at once ; upon 
which Sussex, finding that he should lose all the 
merit of the concession, went straight to the Queen, 

appeared in the Times newspaper : " As the fact 
is becoming a matter of general discussion, that in 
the event of the death of the King of Hanover, and 
of the Crown Prince, his son, the question of the 
title of Sir Augustus D'Este to the throne of that 
kingdom will create some controversy, the follow- 
ing letter from her royal highness (the Countess 
d'Ameland) to Sir S. J. Dillon, will not be unin- 
teresting. It is dated so long since as December 
16, 181 1 : * My dear Sir, — I wished to have 



[Kensington Gardens. 

answered your last letter, but having mislaid your 
first, I did not know how to direct to you. I am 
sure you must believe that I am delighted with 
your pamphlet ; but I must confess I do not think 
you have stated the fact quite exactly when you say 
(page 25) " that the question is at rest between me 
and the Duke of Sussex, because the connection 
has not only been declared illegal by sentence of 
the Ecclesiastical Court, but has been dissolved by 
consent — that I have agreed to abandon all claims 
to his name," &c. Now, my dear sir, had I 
believed the sentence of the Ecclesiastical Court 
to be anything but a stretch of power, my girl 
would not have been born. Lord Thurlow told 
me my marriage was good abroad — religion taught 
me it was good at home, and not one decree of 
any powerful enemy could make me believe other- 
wise, nor ever will. By refusing me a subsistence 
they forced me to take a name — not the Duke of 
Sussex's — but they have not made me believe that 
I had no right to his. My children and myself 
were to starve, or I was to obey ; and I obeyed ; 
but I am not convinced. Therefore, pray don't 
call this " an act of mutual consent," or say " the 
question is at rest." The moment my son wishes 
it, I am ready to declare that it was debt, im- 
prisonment, arrestation, necessity (force like this, 
in short), which obliged me to seem to give up 
my claims, and not my conviction of their fallacy. 
When the banns were published in the most 
frequented church in London, and where all the 

town goes, is not that a permission asked? And 
why were they not forbid ? I believe my marriage 
at Rome good ; and I shall never feel " the 
question at rest " till this is acknowledged. Prince 
Augustus is now sent to Jersey, as Lieutenant 
D'Este, in the 7 th Fusiliers. Before he went, he 
told his father he had no objection to go under 
any name they chose to make him take ; but that 
he knew what he was, and the time, he trusted, 
would come when himself would see justice done 
to his mother and sister, and his own birth.' " 

George IIL having made St. James's and 
Buckingham Palace the head-quarters of royalty 
and the court, henceforward Kensington became 
the occasional or permanent residence of some of 
the younger branches of the royal family. 

Kensington Palace, we need hardly add, is 
maintained at the cost of the nation ; and, though 
no longer used actually as a royal residence, it 
is appropriated to the use of certain pensioned 
families, favoured by royalty, and a lady who is 
distantly connected with the highest court circles 
holds the envied and not very laborious post of 
housekeoper. It may safely be assumed, we think, 
that shj is "at the top of her profession." The 
Right Hon. John Wilson Croker lived here for 
some time. The Duke and Duchess of Teck 
and the Marquis and Marchioness of Lome have 
since occupied those apartments which formerly 
were inhabited by the distinguished personages 
mentioned above. 


"Where Kensington, luxuriant in her bowers, 
Sees snow of blossoms, and a wild of flowers ; 
The dames of Britain oft in crowds repair 
To gravel walks and unpolluted air : 
Here, while the town in damps and darkness lies. 
They breathe in sunshine and see azure skies; 
Each walk, with robes of various dyes bespread. 
Seems from afar a moving tulip-bed. 
Where rich brocades and glossy damasks glow. 
And chintz, the rival of the showerj- bow." — Tickell. 

"Military" Appearance of the Gardens, as laid out by Wise and Loudon— Addison's Comments on the Horticultural Improvements of his Time— 
The Gardens as they appeared at the Beginning of the Last Century— Queen Anne's Banqueting House— Statue of Dr. Jenner— Brid^eman's 
Additions to the Gardens— The "Hal ha!" — " Capability " Brown— The Gardens first opened to the Public— A Foreigner's Opinion of 
Kensington Gardens— " Tommy Hill" and John Poole— Introduction of Rare Plants and Shrubs— Scotch Pines and other Trees— A Friendly 
Flash of Lightning— The Reservoir and Fountains— Tickell, and his Poem on Kensington Gardens— Chateaubriand— Introduction of Hooped 
Petticoats— The Broad Walk becomes a Fashionable Promenade — Eccentricities in Costume — The Childhood of Queen Victoria, and her 
Early Intercourse with her Future Subjects— A Critical Review of the Gardens. 

The gardens attached to Kensington Palace, when 
purchased by William HI., did not exceed twenty- 
six acres. They were immediately laid out ac- 
cording to the royal taste ; and this being entirely 

military, the consequence was that closely-cropped 
yews, and prim holly hedges, were taught, under 
the auspices of Loudon and Wise, the royal gar- 
deners, to imitate the lines, angles, bastions, scarps, 

Kensington Gardens.] 



and counter-scarps of regular fortifications. This 
curious upper garden, we are told, was long " the 
admiration of every lover of that kind of horticul- 
tural embellishment," and, indeed, influenced the 
general taste of the age ; for Le Nautre, or Le 
Notre, who was gardener to the Tuileries, and had 
been personally favoured by Louis XIV,, in con- 
junction with the royal gardeners, was employed by 
most of the nobility, during the reign of William, 
in laying out their gardens and grounds. Addison, 
in No. 477 of the Spectator, thus speaks of the 
horticultural improvements of this period : — " I 
think there are as many kinds of gardening as of 
poetry : your makers of pastures and flower-gardens 
are epigrammatists and sonneteers in this art ; 
contrivers of bowers and grottoes, treillages and 
cascades, are romantic writers ; Wise and Loudon 
are our heroic poets ; and if, as a critic, I may 
single out any passage of their works to commend, 
I shall take notice of that part in the upper garden 
at Kensington which was at first nothing but a 
gravel-pit. It must have been a fine genius for 
gardening that could have thought of forming such 
an unsightly hollow into so beautiful an area, and to 
have hit the eye with so uncommon and agreeable 
a scene as that which it is now wrought into." 

In 1 69 1 these gardens are thus described: — 
" They are not great, nor abounding v/ith fine 
plants. The orange, lemon, myrtle, and what 
other trees they had there in summer, were all 
removed to London, or to Mr. Wise's greenhouse 
at Brompton Park, a little mile from there. But 
the walks and grass were very fine, and they were 
digging up a plot of four or five acres to enlarge 
their gardens." Queen Anne added some thirty 
acres more, which were laid out by her gardener. 
Wise. Bowack, in 1705, describes here "a noble 
collection of foreign plants, and fine neat greens, 
which makes it pleasant all the year. . . . Her 
Majesty has been pleased lately to plant near 
thirty acres more to the north, separated from the 
rest only by a stately greenhouse, not yet finished." 
It appears from this passage that, previous to the 
above date, Kensington Gardens did not extend 
further to the north than the conservatory, which, 
as stated in the previous chapter, was originally 
built for a banqueting-house, and was frequently 
used as such by Queen Anne. This banqueting- 
house was completed in the year 1705, and is 
considered a fine specimen of brickwork. The 
south front has rusticated columns supporting a 
Doric pediment, and the ends have semi-circular 
recesses. " The interior, decorated with Corinthian 
columns," Mr. John Timbs tells us in his " Curiosi- 
ties," " was fitted up as a drawing-room, music- 

room, and ball-room ; and thither the queen was 
conveyed in her chair from the western end of the 
palace. Here were given full-dress fetes ci la 
IVatteaii, with a profusion of ' brocaded robes, 
hoops, fly-caps, and fans,' songs by the court 
lyrists, &c." When the Court left Kensington, 
this building was converted into an orangery and 

Just within the boundary of the gardens at the 
south-eastern corner, on slightly rising ground, is 
the Albert Memorial, which we have already de- 
scribed,-^ and not far distant is the statue of 
Dr. Jenner, the originator of vaccination. This 
statue, which is of bronze, represents the venerable 
doctor in a sitting posture. It is the work of 
William Calder Marshall, and was originally set 
up in Trafalgar Square in 1858, but was removed 
hither about four years afterwards. 

The eastern boundary of the gardens would seem 
to have been in Queen Anne's time nearly in the 
line of the broad walk which crosses them on the 
east side of the palace. The kitchen-gardens, 
which extended north of the palace, towards the 
gravel-pits, but are now occupied by some elegant 
villas and mansions, and the thirty acres lying 
north of the conservatory, added by Queen Anne 
to the pleasure-gardens, may have been the fifty-five 
acres "detached and severed from the park, lying 
in the north-west corner thereof," granted in the 
reign of Charles II. to Hamilton, the Ranger of 
Hyde Park, and Birch, the auditor of excise, " to 
be walled and planted with ' pippins and red- 
streaks,' on condition of their furnishing apples or 
cider for the king's use." This portion of the 
garden is thus mentioned in Tickell's poem : — ■ 

" That hollow space, where now, in living rows, 
Line above line, the yew's sad verdure grows, 
Was, ere the planter's hand its beauty gave, 
A common pit, a rude unfashion'd cave. 
The landscape, now so sweet, we well may praise ; 
But far, far sweeter, in its ancient days — 
Far sweeter was it when its peopled ground 
With fairy domes and dazzling towers was crowm'd. 
Where, in the midst, those verdant pillars spring, 
Rose the proud palace of the Elfin king ; 
For every hedge of vegetable green. 
In happier years, a crowded street was seen ; 
Nor all those leaves that now the prospect r.race 
Could match the numbers of its pigmy race." 

At the end of the avenue leading from the south 
part of the palace to the wall on the Kensington 
Road is an alcove built by Queen Anne's orders ; 
so that the palace, in her reign, seems to have 
stood in the midst of fruit and pleasure gardens, 
with pleasant alcoves on the west and south, and 

* See p. 38, ante. 



[Kensington Gardens. 

the stately banqueting-house on the east, the whole 
confined between the Kensington and Uxbridge 
Roads on the north and south, with Palace Green 
on the west ; the line of demarcation on the east 
being the broad walk before the east front of the 

Bridgeman, who succeeded Wise as the fashion- 
able designer of gardens, was employed by Queen 
Caroline, consort of George IL, to plant and lay 
out, on a larger scale than had hitherto been at- 
tempted, the ground which had been added to the 
gardens by encroaching upon Hyde Park. Bridge- 
man's idea of the picturesque led him to abandon 
" verdant sculpture," and he succeeded in effecting 
a complete revolution in the formal and square pre- 
cision of the foregoing age, although he adhered 
in parts to the formal Dutch style of straight walks 
and clipped hedges. A plan of the gardens, pub- 
lished in 1762, shows on the north-east side a low 
wall and fosse, reaching from the Uxbridge Road 
to the Serpentine, and effectually shutting in the 
gardens. Across the park, to the east of Queen 
Anne's Gardens, immediately in front of the palace, 
a reservoir was formed with the " round pond ; " 
thence, as from a centre, long vistas or avenues 
were carried through the wood that encircled the 
water — one as far as the head of the Serpentine ; 
another to the wall and fosse above mentioned, 
affording a view of the park ; a third avenue led to 
a mount on the south-east side, which was raised 
with the soil dug in the formation of the adjoining 
canal, and planted with evergreens by Queen Anne. 
This mount, which has since been levelled again, 
or, at all events, considerably reduced, had on the 
top a revolving "prospect house." There was also 
in the gardens a " hermitage :" a print of it is to 
be seen in the British Museum. The low wall 
and fosse was introduced by Bridgeman as a sub- 
stitute for a high wall, which would shut out the 
view of the broad expanse of park as seen from the 
palace and gardens ; and it was deemed such a 
novelty that it obtained the name of a " Ha ! ha ! " 
derived from the exclamation of surprise involun- 
tarily uttered by disappointed pedestrians. At 
each angle of this wall and fosse, however, semi- 
circular projections were formed, which were termed 
bastions, and in this particular the arrangement 
accorded with the prevailing military taste. Bridge- 
man's plan of gardening, however, embraced the 
beauties of flowers and lawns, together with a 
wilderness and open groves ; but the principal 
embellishments were entrusted to Mr. Kent, and 
subsequently carried out by a gentleman well known 
by the familiar appellation of " Capability " Brown. 
The gardens, it may be added, are still sufficiently 

rural to make a home for the nightingale, whose 
voice is often heard in the summer nights, espe- 
cially in the part nearest to Kensington Gore. 

"Here England's daughter, darling of the land, 
Sometimes, surrounded with her virgin band, 
Gleams through the shades. She, towering o'er the rest. 
Stands fairest of the fairer kind confest ; 
Form'd to gain hearts that Brunswick's cause denied, 
And charm a people to her father's side. 

' ' Long have these groves to royal guests been known, 
Nor Nassau, first, preferred them to a throne. 
Ere Norman banners waved in British air ; 
Ere lordly Hubba with the golden hair 
Pour'd in his Danes ; ere elder Julius came ; 
Or Uardan Brutus gave our isle a name ; 
A prince of Albion's lineage graced the wood, 
The scene of wars, and stained with lover's blood." 

On King William taking up his abode in the 
palace, the neighbouring town of Kensington and 
the outskirts of Hyde Park became the abode of 
fashion and of the hangers-on at the Court, whilst 
the gardens themselves became the scene of a plot 
for assassinating William, and replacing James IL 
on the throne. The large gardens laid out by 
Queen Caroline were opened to the public on 
Saturdays, when the King and Court went to Rich- 
mond, and on these occasions ail visitors were re- 
quired to appear in full dress. When the Court 
ceased to reside here, the gardens were thrown open 
in the spring and summer ; they, nevertheless, long 
continued to retain much of their stately seclusion. 
The gardens are mentioned in the following terms 
by the poet Crabbe, in his " Diary : " — " Drove to 
Kensington Gardens : . . . effect new and striking. 
Kensington Gardens have a very peculiar effect ; 
not exhilarating, I think, yet alive [lively] and 
pleasant." It seems, however, that the public had 
not always access to this pleasant place ; for, in 
the " Historical Recollections of Hyde Park," by 
Thomas Smith, we find a notice of one Sarah Gray 
having had granted her a "pension of ^18 a year, 
as a compensation for the loss of her husband, 
who was " accidentally shot by one of the keepers 
while hunting a fox in Kensington Gardens." 

According to Sir Richard Phillips, in " Modern 
London/' published in 18 4, the gardens were open 
to the public at that time only from spring to 
autumn ; and, curiously enough, servants in livery 
were excluded, as also were dogs. Thirty years 
later the gardens are described as being open " all 
the year round, to all respectably-dressed persons, 
from sunrise till sunset." About that time, when it 
happened that the hour for closing the gates was 
eight o'clock, the following lines, purporting to have 
been written " by a young lady aged nineteen," were 
discovered affixed to one of the seats : — 

Kensington Gardens.3 



' ' Poor Adam and Eve were from Eden turned out, 
As a punishment due to their sin ; 
But here after eight, if you loiter about^ 
As a punishment you '11 be locked in." 

It may be added that now, on stated days during 
the " London season," the scene in these gardens 
is enhvened by the exhilarating strains of miUtary 
bands. It is stated by Count de INlelfort, in his 
" Impressions of England,'' published in the reign 
of William IV., that the Duke of St. Albans— we 
suppose, as Grand Falconer of England — is the 
only subject, except members of the royal family, 
who has the right of entering Kensington Palace 
Gardens in his carriage. The fact may be true, 
but it wants verifying. 

The author of an agreeable " Tour of a Foreigner 
in England," published in 1825, remarks : — "The 
Palais Royale gives a better idea of the London 
squares than any other part of Paris. The public 
promenades are St. James's Park, Hyde Park, and 
Kensington Gardens, which communicate with 
each other. I am sometimes tempted to prefer 
these parks to the gardens of the Luxembourg and 
the Tuileries, which, however, cannot give you any 
idea of them. St. James's Park, Hyde Park, and 
Kensington Gardens are to me the Tuileries, the 
Champs Elysees, and the Jardin des Plantes united. 
On Sundays the crowd of carriages which repair 
thither, and the gentlemen of fashion who exhibit 
their horsemanship with admirable dexterity in the 
ride, remind me of Long Champs ; but hackney 
coaches are not allowed to enter here to destroy 
the fine spectacle which so many elegant cairiages 
afford. Sheep graze tranquilly in Hyde Park, 
where it is also pleasing to see the deer bounding 
about. At Kensington Gardens you are obliged 
to leave your horse or carriage standing at the gate. 
Walking through its shady alleys I observed with 
pleasure that the fashionable ladies pay, in regard 
to dress, a just tribute to our fair countrywomen. 
Judging from the costumes of the ladies, you might 
sometimes fancy yourself walking under the chestnut 
trees of the Tuileries. A line of Tasso may very 
well be applied to Kensington Gardens : — 

' L'arte che tutto fa, nulla si scuopre.' " 

.Within the last half century these gardens have 
been greatly improved by drainage, relaying, and 
replanting. Much of the surrounding walls, too, 
have been removed, and in their place handsome 
iron railings have been substituted. The lead- 
ing features of the gardens at the present time 
are the three avenues above mentioned, radiating 
from the east front of the palace, through dense 
masses of trees. Immediately in front of the 

palace is a quaintly-designed flower garden, sepa- 
rated from the Kensington Road by some fine old 
elm-trees. The broad walk, fifty feet in width, was 
once the fashionable promenade. " Tommy Hill," 
and his friend John Poole, who made him his 
great character in Fau/ Pry, with " I hope I don't 
intrude," used to walk daily together here. All the 
surrounding parts are filled in with stately groups 
of ancient trees \ and the total absence of anything 
that indicates the proximity of the town, renders 
this spot particularly pleasant and agreeable for a 
stroll on a summer's evening. Keeping along the 
eastern margin of the gardens, and crossing the end 
of the broad avenue, the visitor soon reaches a new 
walk formed about the time of the first Great Ex- 
hibition. Here will be found a large number of 
new and rarer kind of shrubs, with their popular 
and technical names all legibly inscribed. Weale, 
in his work on London, published in 185 1, says : — 
" It is in the introduction of these rarer plants that 
the idea of a ' garden ' is, perhaps, better sustained 
than in most of the other features of the place, 
which are those of a park. The demand, indeed, 
for evergreens and undergrowth in these gardens is 
most urgent ; and if (which we greatly doubt) there 
exists a well-founded objection to the use of shrubs 
and bushes in tufts or in single plants, there cer- 
tainly can be no reason why solitary specimens, or 
varied groups of the many kinds of thorn, pyrus, 
mespilus, laburnum, pine and fir, evergreen, oaks, 
hoUies, yews, &c., should not be most extensively 
planted, and a large portion of the younger and 
smaller trees in the densest parts cut away to make 
room for them." With reference to the trees in 
these gardens, a correspondent of the Times news- 
paper, in May, 1876, observes : — "The crowds who 
flock to Bushy Park or Kew do not see anything 
more fair than the tree-pictures now in Kensington 
Gardens, to which I beg to call the attention of all 
lovers of trees. The hawthorns and horse-chestnuts 
are now in marvellous beauty, though one rarely 
sees anybody taking the least notice of them. All 
the blaze of the autumnal ' bedding out ' is in point 
of beauty as nothing to what is now afforded here 
by a few kinds of ordinaiy hardy trees that cost 
little at first and take care of themselves after^vards. 
There is a litde open lawn with a small lime-tree 
in its centre, quite near the ' Row ' corner of the 
gardens, around which there are several charming 
aspects of tree-beauty. One hawthorn is about 
forty feet high. Some of the central and un- 
frequented portions of the gardens are the most 
attractive. Nobody can despair of growing flower- 
ing trees to his heart's content in London after 
seeing the mountains of horse-chestnut bloom and 



[Kensington Gardens. 

Other masses of tree-flowers here. Let those inte- 
rested see the old trees in the central parts as well 
as the newer plantations, which, howe\'er, are also 

At the north side, nearly facing Porchester 
Terrace, there are some fine trees, including Scotch 
pines, which, a few years ago, were a glory to the 
neighbourhood, and are duly celebrated by Mr. 
Matthew Arnold in his verses on Kensington 

whether the branch can be removed without injury 
to the royal tree." "I accordingly wrote to my 
friend in the evening (Tuesday)," continues the 
author, " and on Thursday morning my friends dis- 
covered, to their infinite satisfaction, that the ob- 
trusive branch had disappeared ; and, as a natural 
sequence, I came in for a warm benediction, and 
the Woods and Forests for their full share of praise 
as an exceptional department of the State, where 


Gardens. Some of these, however, became so 
decayed that they were cut down by order of Her 
Majesty's Woods and Forests, in 1875. 

The author of "Reminiscences of Fifty Years" 
tells an amusing story with reference to one of the 
trees in this part of the gardens. He was one day 
praising the charming view which -some friends of 
his commanded from their drawing-room window 
overlooking the gardens. " Yes, the view would 
be perfect, if the branch of that large tree," to 
which they specially drew his attention, " did not 
interrupt it." "Well," remarked the other, "it is 
somewhat singular that I walked to your door 
with the nearest relative in London of the Chief 
Commissioner of Woods and Forests (the Right 
Hon. Mr. Milne), and I shall ask him to inquire 

red tape was not used, 'and circumlocution un- 
known. The Chief Commissioner, on reading my 
note to his relative, gave orders on the Wednesday 
to the superintendent of Kensington Gardens to 
look at the tree, and if the branch could be taken 
off without serious prejudice, it was to be done. 
The superintendent reported at head-quarters on 
the Thursday that on visiting the tree at an early 
hour that morning he found the branch in question 
lying on the ground, having been struck oft" by light- 
ning during the heavy storm of the previous night. 
The Chief Commissioner wrote an amusing leiter 
on the occasion, alleging that I really must be 
one ' who could call spirits from the vasty deep,' 
and liad evidently transferred my powers to Ken- 
sington Gardens, acting on the suggestion giv en in 

Kensington Gardens.] 


Richard III., ' With lightning strike the murderer 
dead.' The same day," adds the author, " I visited 
the tree, which appeared, saving the amputation of 
the large branch, to have escaped all other injury. 
Had other trees not suffered severely in Kensington 
Gardens that night, it might have led to a special 
inquiry or inquest to ascertain whether it was 
lightning or a saw that I had employed in obliging 
my friends. I told them they owed everything 


running between the basins, there is a larger foun- 
tain, of octagonal form. The end of the reservoir 
nearest the bridge forms an ornamental fagade, 
enriched with vases of various patterns, filled witiv 
flowers. The centre of this fagade has two draped 
female figures, seated, holding vases, from which 
flow streams ; and between these two figures, but 
projecting forward, is another large fountain. The 
height of this balustraded facade is about eight feet 


to the lightning; as I was much inclined to think 
that the Chief Commissioner, with every desire to 
meet their wishes, might possibly have deemed it 
his duty to postpone the consideration of the 
removal of so large and umbrageous a branch from 
the royal demesne to the Greek Calends." 

Of the bridge over the Serpentine, at the north- 
east corner of the Gardens, we have already given 
an illustration.* At some distance on the west 
side of this bridge, as it leaves the Uxbridge Road, 
the Serpentine has been divided into a series of 
four large basins or reservoirs, of octangular form, 
each of which has a small fountain in the centre, 
encompassed with marble. In the central pathway. 


• See Vol. IV., p. 396. 

above the water-level. At the other end of the 
reservoirs is an engine-house, containing engines 
for working the fountains. This building is of 
Italian design, and roofed with red Italian tiles. 
It stands just within the Gardens, at a short distance 
from the Bayswater Road. 

Kensington Gardens have been celebrated by 
Tickell in the poem which bears their name, and 
from which we have quoted above ; " verses," says 
Charles Knight, " Aill of fairies and their dwarfs, 
and Dryads and Naiads; verses made to order, 
and which have wholly perished as they deserve to 
perish." Tickell enjoyed the patronage of Addison, 
contributed papers to the Spectator, was contem- 
porary with Pope, and published a translation of 
the " First Book of the Iliad," from his own pen, in 



[Kensington Gardens. 

apparent opposition to Pope's " Homer," of which 
the first part was pubhshed at the same time. 
As we read in Johnson's "Lives of the Poets," 
" Addison declared that the rival versions were 
both good, but Tickell's was the best. His poem 
on ' Kensington Gardens,' with the fairy tale intro- 
duced, is much admired; the versification is smooth 
and elegant. He is said to have been a man of 
gay conversation, but in his domestic relations 
without censure." Musical attractions were not 
wanting here in Tickell's time, if we may judge 
from the following couplet, which refers to Ken- 
sington Gardens : — 

** Nor the shrill corn-pipe, echoing loud to arms, 
To rank and file reduce the straggling swarms." 

Readers of the "Life of Chateaubriand" will 
remember that he was one of those who admired 
and enjoyed the repose of the leafy walks of these 
Gardens. Professor Robertson, in his "Lectures 
on Modern History and Biography," tells us how 
the venerable sage " would stroll under these beau- 
tiful trees, where in the days of his exile he used to 
meet his fellow-sufterers, the French priests, reciting 
their breviary — those trees under which he had in- 
dulged in many a reverie, under which he had 
breathed many a sigh for his home in La Belle 
France, under which he had finished ' Atala,' and 
had composed ' Rene.' " 

Kensington Palace and its Gardens were the first 
places where the hooped petticoats of our great- 
grandmother's days were displayed by ladies of 
fashion and " quality." We do not purpose giving 
here a history of Englishwomen's dress ; but it may 
be as well to record the fact that the hoop appears 
to have been the invention of a Mrs. Selby, whose 
novelty is made the subject of a pamphlet, published 
at Bath, under the title of " The Farthingale Re- 
viewed; or, more Work for the Cooper : aPanegyrick 
on the late but most admirable invention of the 
Hooped Petticoat." The talented lady who in- 
vented it died in 1717, and is thus mentioned by a 
Mrs. Stone, in the " Chronicles of Fashion :" " How 
we yearn to know something more of Mrs. Selby, 
her personal appearance, her whereabouts, her 
habits, and her thoughts. Can no more be said of 
her, whose inventive genius influenced the empire 
for Avell-nigh a century, who, by the potency of a rib 
of whalebone, held the universal realm of fashion 
against the censures of the press, the admonitions of 
the pulpit, and the common sense of the whole 
nation ? Mrs. Tempest, the milliner, had her 
portrait taken by Kent, and . painted on the stair- 
case of Kensington Palace ; and what was Mrs. 
Tempest that her lineaments should be preserved, 

whilst those of Mrs. Selby, the inventor of the 
hoop, are suffered to fall into oblivion ? " 

It was during the reign of George I. that the 
fashionable promenades in the Gardens became so 
popular, and the glittering skirts, which still lived 
in the recollection of our grandparents, would seem 
to have made their first appearance. Caroline of 
Anspach, the Prince of Wales's consort, probably 
introduced them, when she came with her bevy of 
maidens to Court. People would throng to see 
them ; the ladies would take the opportunity of 
showing themselves, like pea-hens, in the walks ; 
persons of fashion, privileged to enter the Gardens, 
would avail themselves of the privilege; and at 
last the public would obtain admission, and the 
raree-show would be complete. The full-dress 
promenade, it seems, was at first confined to Satur- 
days ; it was afterwards changed to Sundays, and 
continued on that day till the custom went out 
with the closing days of George IH. 

In fact, during the last century the broad walk 
in Kensington Gardens had become almost as 
fashionable a promenade as the Mall in St. James's 
Park had been a century earlier, under Charles II. 
There might, probably, have been seen here, on 
one and the same day, during the portentous 
year 1 791, Wilkes and Wilberforce ; George Rose 
and Mr. Holcroft ; Mr. Reeve and Mr. Godwin ; 
Burke, Warren Hastings, and Tom Paine ; Horace 
Walpole and Hannah More (whom he introduced 
to the Duke of Queensberry) ; Mary Wolstonecroft 
and Miss Burney (Madame d'Arblay), the latter 
avoiding the former with all her might ; the 
Countess of Albany (the widow of the Pretender); 
the Margravine of Anspach ; Mrs. INIontagu ; Mrs. 
Barbauld; Mrs. Trimmer; Emma Harte (Lady 
Hamilton), accompanied by her adoring portrait- 
painter, Romney; and poor Madame du Barry, 
mistress of Louis XV., come to look after some 
jewels of which she has been robbed, and litde 
thinking she would return to be guillotined. The 
fashions of this half century, with the exception of 
an occasional broad-brimmed hat worn both by 
gentlemen and ladies, comprised the ugliest that 
ever w.ere seen in the old Court suburb. Head- 
dresses became monstrous compounds of paste- 
board, flowers, feathers, and pomatum ; the hoop 
degenerated into little panniers ; and about the 
year 1770, a set of travelled fops came up, calling 
themselves Macaronis (from their intimacy with 
the Italian eatable so called), who wore ridiculously 
little hats, large pigtails, and tight-fitting clothes 
of striped colours. The lessef pigtail, long or 
curly, prevailed for a long time among elderly 
gentlemen, making a powdered semicircle between 


Kensington Gardens.] 


the shoulders ; a plain cocked-hat adorned their 
heads ; and, on a sudden, at the beginning of the 
new century, some of the ladies took to wearing 
turbans, surmounted with ostrich feathers, and 
bodies literally without a waist, the girdle coming 
directly under the arms. There was a song in 
those days, beginning — 

" Shepherds, I have lost my love ; 
Have you seen my Anna ? " 

This song was parodied by one beginning — 

" Shepherds, I have lost my waist; 
Have you seen my body ? " 

Lady Brownlow, in her " Reminiscences of a 
Septuagenarian," tells us that after the Peace of 
Amiens, in 1802, she here met the celebrated 
Madame Recamier, who created a sensation at the 
West-end, partly by her beauty, but still more by 
her dress, which was vastly unlike the unsophisti- 
cated style and poke bonnets of the English ladies. 
"She appeared in Kensington Gardens a raniique, 
a muslin gown clinging to her form like the folds 
of drapery on a statue 3 her hair in a plait at the 
back, and falling in small ringlets round her face, 
and greasy with huile antique; a large veil thrown 
over her head completed her attire, which not 
unnaturally caused her to be followed and stared 
at." No doubt, dressed in such a costume, and 
at such a period, Madame Recamier might well 
have been the " cynosure of neighbouring eyes." 

During the early childhood of Her Majesty 
Queen Victoria, when living with her royal mother 
in Kensington Palace, the little princess was daily 
to be seen running about these gardens, or riding 
on her donkey about its walks 3 and her intercourse 
Avith the visitors there, we are assured by the 
author of an " Anecdotal Memoir of Her Majesty," 
was of a very interesting description. Some 
anecdotes upon this subject may be well introduced 
by the following remarks of a correspondent to 
the editor of a daily newspaper, when the princess 
was nearly three years old : — 

" Passing accidentally through Kensington 
Gardens, a few days since, I observed at some 
distance a party, consisting of several ladies, a 
young child, and two men-servants, having in 
charge a donkey, gaily caparisoned with blue 
ribbons, and accoutred for the use of the infant. 
The appearance of the party, and the general 
attention they attracted, led me to suspect they 
might be the royal inhabitants of the palace ; I 
soon learnt that my conjectures were well founded, 
and that her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent 
was in maternal attendance, as is her daily custom, 
upon her august and interesting daughter, in the 


enjoyment of her healthful exercise. On approach- 
ing the royal party, the infant princess, observing 
my respectful recognition, nodded, and wished me 
a 'good morning' with much livehness, as she 
skipped along between her mother and her^ sister, 
the Princess Feodore, holding a hand of each. 
Having passed on some paces, I stood a moment 
to observe the actions of the royal child, and was 
pleased to see that the gracious notice with which 
she honoured me was extended, in a greater or less 
degree, to almost every person she met : thus does 
this fair scion of our royal house, while yet an 
infant, daily make an impression on the hearts of 
many individuals which will not easily be forgotten. 
Her Royal Highness is remarkably beautiful, and 
her gay and animated countenance bespeaks perfect 
health and good temper. Her complexion is 
excessively fair, her eyes large and expressive, and 
her cheeks blooming. She bears a very strikini,^ 
resemblance to her late royal father, and, indeed, 
to every member of our reigning family ; but the 
soft beauty, and (if I may be allowed the term) the 
dignity of her infantine countenance, peculiarly 
reminded me of our late beloved Princess 

"This favourite donkey," we are further told 
by the above-mentioned authority, "a present from 
the Duke of York, bore his royal mistress daily 
round the gardens, to her great delight ; so fond, 
indeed, was she of him, and of the exercise whicli 
he procured for her, that it was generally necessary 
to persuade her that the donkey was tired or 
hungry in order to induce her to alight. Even at 
this very early age, the princess took great pleasure 
in mixing with the people generally, and seldom 
passed anybody in the gardens, either when riding 
in her little carriage or upon her donkey, without 
accosting them with, ' How do you do ? ' or ' Good- 
morning, sir,' or ' lady ; ' and always seemed pleased 
to enter into conversation with strangers, returning 
their comphments or answering their questions in 
the most distinct and good-humoured manner. 
The young princess showed her womanly nature as 
a particular admirer of children, and rarely allowed 
an infant to pass her without requesting permission 
to inspect it and to take it in her arms. She 
expressed great delight at meeting a young ladies' 
school, and always had something to say to most 
of the children, but particularly to the younger 
ones. When a little older, she was remarkable for 
her activity, as, holding her sister Feodore in one 
hand, and the string of her little cart in the other, 
with a moss-rose fastened into her bosom, she 
would run with astonishing rapidity the whole 
length of the broad gravel walk, or up and down 



[Kensington Gardens. 

the green hills with which the gardens abound, her 
eyes sparkling with animation and glee, until the 
attendants, fearful of the effects of such violent 
exercise, were compelled to put a stop to it, much 
against the will of the litde romp ; and although a 
large assemblage of well-dressed ladies, gentlemen, 
and children would, on such occasions, form a 
semicircle round the scene of amusement, their 
presence never seemed in any way to disconcert 
the royal child, who would continue her play, 
occasionally speaking to the spectators as though 
they were partakers in her enjoyment, which, in 
very truth, they were. If, whilst amusing herself 
in the enclosed lawn, she observed, as sometimes 
happened, many persons collected round the green 
railings, she would walk close up to it, and curtsey 
and^kiss her hand to the people, speaking to all 
who addressed her; and when her nurse led her 
away, she would again and again slip from her 
hand, and return to renew the mutual greetings 
between herself and her future subjects, who, as 
they contemplated with delight her bounding step 
and merry healthful countenance, the index of a 
heart full of innocence and joy, were ready 
unanimously to exclaim — • 

" ' Long may it be ere royal state 
That cherub smile shall dissipate ; 
Long ere that bright eye's peerless blue, 
A sovereign's anxious tear bedew ; 
Ere that fair form of airy grace. 
Assume the regal measured pace ; 
Or that young, open, cloudless brow, 
With truth and joy that glitters now, 
The imperial diadem shall -wear 
Beset with trouble, grief, and care.' " 

In an article on Kensington Palace and Gardens, 
in the Monthly Register for September, 1802, the 
writer somewhat critically remarks : — *' All the 
views from the south and east facades of the edifice 
suffer from the absurdity of the early inspectors of 
these grounds. The three vistas opening from the 
latter, without a single wave in the outline, without 
a clump or a few insulated trees to soften the glare 
of the champagne, or diminish the oppressive 
weight of the incumbent grove, are among the 
greatest deformities. The most exquisite view in 
the Gardens is near the north-east angle ; at the 
ingress of the Serpentine river, which takes an easy 
wind towards the park, and is ornamented on either 
side by sloping banks, with scenery of a different 
character. To the left the wood presses boldly on 
the water, whose polished bosom seems timidly to 
recede from the dark intruder ; to the right, a few 
truant foresters interrupt the uniformity of the 
parent grove, which rises at some distance on the 
more elevated part of the shore ; and through the 

boles of the trees are discovered minute tracts of 
landscape, in which the eye of taste can observe 
sufficient variety of light and shade of vegetable and 
animal life to gratify the imagination, and disap- 
point the torpor, which the more sombre scenery to 
the east is accustomed to invite. 

" The pencil of Claude and Poussin was em- 
ployed on general landscape ; and the transport in- 
spired by their works is from the composition and 
general effect, not from the exact resemblance of 
objects, to which Swanevelt and Watteau were so 
scrupulously attentive. In the landscape of nature, 
as well as in the feeble imitations of the artist, indi- 
viduals deserve some attention. The largest and 
most beautiful of all the productions of the earth is 
a tree. As the effulgent tints of the insect must yield 
to the elegance and proportion of the other orders 
of animals, when contemplated by our imperfect 
optics, so the gorgeous radiance of the flower 
must bend its coronal honours to this gigantic 
offspring of nature, whose ample foliage receives all 
the splendid effects of light and shade, and gives 
arrangement and composition to landscape. The 
trees that conduce to the sublime in scenery are 
the oak, the ash, the elm, and the beech. It is a 
defect in the gardens at Kensington that, excepting 
the elm, the whole of this beautiful fraternity is ex- 
cluded, so that all the variety of tint in the spring 
and autumn is lost, and the gardens burst into the 
luxuriance of summer, and hasten to the disgrace 
of winter, without those gradations which indulgent 
Nature has contrived to moderate our transport on 
the approach of the one, and to soften our griefs on 
the appearance of the other. The dusky fir is the 
only melancholy companion the elm is here per- 
mitted to possess, who seems to raise his tall funereal 
head to insult his more lively associate with ap- 
proaching decay. If in spring we have not here all 
the colours of the rainbow, in the forms of nascent 
existence ; if in autumn the yellow of the elm, the 
orange of the beech, and the glowing brown of the 
oak do not blend their fading honours, it must be 
acknowledged that the elm is one of the noblest 
ornaments of the forest ; it is the medium between 
the massive unyielding arm of the oak and the 
versatile pliancy of the ash ; it out-tops the vener- 
able parent of the grove, and seems to extend its 
mighty limbs towards heaven, in bold defiance of 
the awful monarch of the wood. 

"Besides the disadvantage from the uniformity in 
the umbrageous furniture of these gardens, there is 
another, which we hardly know whether to attribute 
to design or accident. A tree rising like an artifi- 
cial pillar from the smooth earth, without exposing 
any portion of the bold angles of its root, not only 

Holland House.] 


loses half its strength, but almost all its dignity. 
PUny, endeavouring to give a grand idea of the 
Hercynian forest, describes the magnitude of the 
trees in that ancient domain of the Sylvani to be 
sufficient to admit mounted cavalry to pass beneath 
the huge radical curves. Whatever ornament 
Pliny's extravagance might attribute in this respect 
on the broad expanse of solitary Nature, this 
gigantic wildness would not be at all adapted to 
tliese pigmy haunts of man ; but some resemblance, 
some approach, should be attempted to the magni- 
ficence of her operations. 

-^A huge oak, dry and dead, 

Still cuU'd with relics of its trophies old, 
Lifting to heaven its aged hoary head. ' 

"Such an object, with some of our readers, 
would be considered a venerable inmate of these 
gardens, and to us it would be infinitely prefer- 
able to the trim expedients of art. The insulated 
majesty of this ancient possessor of the soil would 
prevent the intrusion of the timid hand of man, and 
the character which this parent of the forest would 
impart to the general scenery would secure it from 
sacrilegious profanation." 


" Mere Rogers sat, and here for ever dwell 
With me those pleasures that he sang so \vt\\."—Lord Holland. 

Earl's Court— John Hunter's House— Mrs. Inchbald— Edwardes Square— Warwick Road and Warwick Gardens— Addison Road— Holland 
House— An Antique Relic— The Pictures and Curiosities— The Library— The Rooms occupied by Addison, Charles Fo.\-, Rogers, and 
Sheridan— Holland House under the Family of Rich— Theatrical Performances carried on by Stealth during the Commonwealth- 
Subsequent Owners of the Mansion— Oliver Goldsmith-Addison— The House purchased by Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland— Thg 
Story of Henry Fox's Elopement with the Daughter of the Duke of Richmond— Lady Sarah Lennox and the Private Theatricals— Charles 
James Fox— Henry Richard, third Lord Holland, and his Imperious Wife— Lord Macaulay, and other Distinguished Guests— " Who is 
Junius?"— Lord Holland and the Emperor Napoleon— Death of Lord Holland, and his Character, as written by a Friend— A Curious 
Custom — The Duel between Lord Camelford and Captain I'.est— Rogers' Grotto — The Gardens and Grounds— Canova's Bust of Napoleon—- 
The Highland and Scottish Societies' Sports and Pastimes— A Tradition concerning Cromwell and Ireton— Little Holland House — Tho 
Residence of General Fox — The Nursery-grounds. 

Retracing our steps along the Kensington Road, 
we come to Earl's Court Road, a thoroughfare 
communicating with the western end of Cromwell 
Road, which comprises several highly respectable 
detached mansions. It probably owes its name to 
the Earls of Warwick and Holland, whose mansion 
faces it. Sir Richard Blackmore, the poet, appears 
to have had a residence here, for Pope writes, in his 
*' Imitations of Horace " — 

" Blackmore himself, for any grave effort, 
Would drink and doze at Tooting or Earl's Court." 

In later times Earl's Court aftorded a retirement 
to the eminent surgeon, John Hunter, who here 
made several experiments in natural history, and 
formed in the grounds surrounding his villa a 
menagerie of rare and valuable foreign animals. 
In the kitchen of Hunter's house the great surgeon 
literally boiled down the Irish giant, O'Brien, 
whose skeleton we have mentioned in our account 
of the Museum* in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Even 
the copper in which the operation was performed 
is religiously kept, and shown to curious visitors. 
After the death of Mr. Hunter, the house in which 
he resided was for some time occupied occasionally 
by the Duke of Richmond, who purchased the 

* See Vol. III., p. 46. 

estate. The house, it may be added, has since 
been a niaison de saute. 

In Leonard's Place, and also in Earl's Court 
Terrace, Mrs. Inchbald resided for some time, in 
boarding-houses. At the back of Earl's Terrace is 
Edwardes Square, so called after the family name 
of Lord Kensington. This square is chiefly re- 
markable for the largeness as well as the cultivated 
look of the enclosure, which affords to the resi- 
dents, and also to the inhabitants of the Terrace, 
who have the right of entry, the advantages of a 
larger kind of garden. Leigh Hunt mentions a 
tradition as current in Kensington that Coleridge 
once had lodgings in Edwardes Square; but, he 
adds, "we do not find the circumstance in his 
biographies, though he once lived in the neigh- 
bouring village of Hammersmith." 

Warwick Road and Warwick Gardens, which lie 
on the west side of Edwardes Square, are so named 
after the Earls of Warwick, the former owners of 
Holland House. In Warwick Gardens is a well-- 
built Wesleyan chapel. Running parallel with 
Warwick Road, crossing by a bridge the Kensing- 
ton Road, and continuing its course by Holland 
Road, is the West London Railway, and this we fix 
upon as the limits of our perambulations in the 
" far west." Addison Road, of course, is so named 



[Holland House. 

after another and a distinguished occupant of 
Holland House, of which we shall presently speak; 
and it forms a communication between the Ken- 
sington and Uxbridge Roads, skirting the west 
side of Holland Park. St. Barnabas Church, which 
stands in this road, and dates from about the year 
1827, is built in the "late Perpendicular" style of 
Gothic architecture. 

Having been built only in the early part ot the 

Cope, it was built, in the year 1607, from the 
designs of John Thorpe, the famous architect of 
several of the baronial mansions of England which 
were erected about that time. Although scarcely 
two miles distant from London, with its smoke, its 
din, and its crowded thoroughfares, Holland House 
still has its green meadows, its sloping lawns, and 
its refreshing trees; and the view of the quaint 
old pile which meets the wayfarer in passing along 


seventeenth century, shortly after the death of 
Queen Elizabeth, Holland House has no history 
that carries us back beyond the first of the Stuarts ; 
nor, indeed, did the mansion become really cele- 
brated till the reign of George I., when the widow 
of its owner. Rich, Earl of Holland and Warwick, 
married Addison, who died here. It afterwards 
came into the possession of the family of Fox, 
Lord Holland, firstly as tenants, and subsequently 
as owners of the freehold. The first Lord Holland 
and his lady were both persons of ability ; and 
before the end of the reign of George H., Holland 
House had risen into a celebrity which it has never 
since lost. 

The mansion takes its name from Henry Rich, 
Earl of Holland, by whose father-in-law, Sir Walter 

the Kensington Road, on his road towards or 
from Hammersmith, is highly suggestive of rural 
solitude, and the effect is enhanced by the note 
of the nightingale, which is frequently heard in the 
grounds which surround the mansion. From Sir 
Walter.Cope the property passed to his son-in-law, 
above mentioned, who much improved the house, 
and completed its internal decorations. The 
building follows the form so usually adopted at the 
era of its construction, and may be best described 
by saying that it resembles one-half of the letter 
H. The material is brick, with dressings and 
embellishments of stone and stucco. The pro- 
jection in the central compartment of the prin- 
cipal division of the house forms at once a tower 
and porch. 'There is a building at each end of 

Holland House.] 



I. Manor Hou^e. 2. Old Tavern. 3- Little Holland House. 



[Holland House. 

the same division, with shingled and steep-roofed 
turrets, surmounted by a vane. A projecting 
arcade, terminated by a parapet of carved stone- 
work, ranges along the principal faces of the 
building; and the original court is bounded by 
a palisade. The present terrace in front of the 
house was raised about 1848, when the old foot- 
path, which ran immediately in front of its windows, 
was diverted from its course. The following are 
the particulars of the interior of this interesting 
mansion, as given in " Homes and Haunts of 
the Poets : " — " There is a fine entrance-hall, a 
library behind it, and another library extending tlie 
whole length of one of the wings and the house 
up-stairs, one hundred and fifty feet in length. 
The drawing-room over the entrance-hall, called 
the gilt-room, extends from front to back of the 
house, and commands views of the gardens both 
ways ; those to the back are very beautiful." 
There was evidently a chapel attached to the 
house in former times, for there are some remnants 
of arches still existing, built into the walls of rooms 
which now serve a very different purpose. The 
old bronze font, or " stoup," for holy water, too, 
stands by the staircase in the inner hall, supported 
by a comparatively modern tripod of the same 
material. It appears to have been made in the 
year 1484, by a Fleming, named Cassel, or CaselU; 
"around it, far interspersed with odd old Scriptural 
and armorial devices, is written, in Gothic letters, 
an abbreviated rendering of the passage in the 
Psalm, so familiar to Catholic ears : ' Asperges me 
hyssopo, et mundabor ; lavabis me, et super nivem 
dealbabor.'" Many of the pictures which adorn 
the walls are by some of the best masters. One 
apartment, called " The Sir Joshua Room," con- 
tains several of Reynolds's works, the best of which 
are considered " Muscipula," a child holding up a 
mouse in a cage, with puss looking wistfully on 
from below; a portrait of Baretti, author of the 
Italian Dictionary, who was tried for murder,* but 
received favourable testimony from Dr. Johnson, 
Burke, and Garrick, and was acquitted ; and the 
beautiful Lady Sarah Lennox, whom George III. 
noticed with admiration when a little girl in Ken- 
sington Gardens. His Majesty, it is related, 
requested to see her again in later years, and, in 
fact, wished much to marry her when she had 
grown into a young lady. She was one of the 
bridesmaids at his wedding, when, if report be true, 
he kept his eyes steadily fixed on her during the 
ceremony of his own marriage with Charlotte of 
Mechlenburg. This room contains also Murillo's 

♦ See Vol. IV., p. 220. 

"Vision of St. Antony of Padua." The gilt-room 
— which has lost some of its former glories, in the 
shape of frescoes on the chimney-piece, supposed 
to represent the Aldobrandini Marriage, and which 
are presumed to be buried underneath a coating 
of plaster — was prepared by the first Earl of 
Holland of the line of Rich for the purpose of 
giving a ball to Prince Charles on the occasion 
of his marriage with Henrietta Maria of France ; 
the ball, however, for some unexplained reason, 
never came off. This apartment is now said to 
be tenanted by the solitary ghost of its first lord, 
who, according to tradition, "issues forth at mid- 
night from behind a secret door, and walks slowly 
through the scenes of former triumphs, with his 
head in his hand." This, however, is not the only 
" ghost story " connected with Holland House, for 
credulous old Aubrey tells us : " The beautiful Lady 
Diana Rich, as she was walking in her father's 
garden at Kensington, to take the fresh air before 
dinner, about eleven o'clock, being then very well, 
met with her own apparition, habit, and every 
thing, as in a looking-glass. About a month after, 
she died of the small-pox. And it is said that her 
sister, the Lady Elizabeth Thynne, saw the like of 
herself before she died. This account," he adds, 
" I had from a person of honour." 

Among the most noticeable pictures which 
abound in the map-room and the picture-room, 
are some by Watts, who is considered by many 
one of the greatest of contemporary English artists. 
In the latter room mass was said daily during the 
brief stay of Marie Ame'lie, the late Queen of the 
French, in the house in 1862. In the print-room 
are some specimens of the Italian, German, Dutch, 
Flemish, French, Spanish, and English schools ; 
the Rembrandts being the most worthy of note. 
Hogarth is represented in the next room. Here, 
among the portraits, are those of Tom Moore, by 
Shee, and of Rogers, by Hoffner; there are also 
some fine Dutch sea-pieces. The library, a very 
handsome long room, contains, besides its literary 
treasures, among other relics, a table used by 
Addison at the Temple. There is a glowing notice 
of this room by Macaulay, too long for quotation. 
In the yellow drawing-room there is "a pair of 
candlesticks in Byzantine ware, which belonged to 
Mary Queen of Scots. They were in her posses- 
sion at Fotheringay Castle, and thus were witnesses 
to the last hours of her life's tragedy." There is, 
too, " an ancient poison-ring," with a death's head 
in carbuncle, supposed to have been sent to the 
same unfortunate queen. Here are also numerous 
relics of the great Napoleon : among tliem is a 
locket, containing some of his hair, a ring, and a 

Holland House.] 



cross worn by him in his island prison at St. 
Helena. The miniature-room, it need scarcely be 
added, has its treasures ; as have also " Lady 
Holland's private rooms " and the " blue-room." 
The former had a narrow escape from destruction 
by fire a few years ago. Among the remaining 
curiosities and works of art preserved here, is 
an interesting collection of fans, some of which 
are very beautifully painted. " One of these," as 
the Princess Marie Lichstenstein informs lis in 
her account of Holland House, "is historically 
interesting, having been painted by a daughter 
of George III., before the union of Ireland with 
England. It bears the rose and the thistle, but no 
shamrock ; and the motto, ' Health is restored to 
one, happiness to millions,' seems to indicate the 
occasion for which it was painted." Autographs, 
too, and manuscripts of famous characters, are not 
wanting : among them are those of Catherine, 
Empress of Russia; Napoleon I., Voltaire, Addison, 
Petrarch, letters of Philip II., III., and IV. of 
Spain; and music by Pergolese, copied by 

"The library," says Leigh Hunt, in his "Old 
Court Suburb," " must originally have been a 
greenhouse or conservatory ; for, in its first con- 
dition, it appears to have been scarcely anything 
but windows, and it is upwards of ninety feet long, 
by only seventeen feet four inches wide, and 
fourteen feet seven inches in height. The moment 
one enters it, one looks at the two ends, and thinks 
of the tradition about Addison's pacings in it to 
and fro. It represents him as meditating his 
* Spectators ' between two bottles of wine, and 
comforting his ethics by taking a glass of each as 
he arrived at each end of the room. The regularity 
of this procedure is, of course, a jest; but the 
main circumstance is not improbable, though Lord 
Holland seems to have thought otherwise. He 
says (for the words in Faulkner's * Kensington ' are 
evidently his) : — ' Fancy may trace the exquisite 
humour which enlivens his papers to the mirth 
inspired by wine ; but there is too much sober 
good sense in all his lucubrations, even when he 
indulges more in pleasantry, to allow us to give 
implicit credit to a tradition invented, probably, as 
excuse for intemperance by such as can empty two 
bottles of wine, but never produce a ' Spectator ' 
or a 'Freeholder.'" Of other apartments which 
have any particular interest attached to them, is 
the chamber in which Addison died ; the bed-room 
occupied by Charles Fox ; that of Rogers, the poet, 
who was a frequent visitor here ; and also that of 
Sheridan, " in the next room to which," as Leigh 
Hunt informs us, "a servant was regularly in 

attendance all night, partly to furnish, we believe, a 
bottle of champagne to the thirsty orator, in case 
he should happen to call for one betwixt his 
slumbers (at least, we heard so a long while ago, 
and it was quite in keeping with his noble host's 
hospitality ; but we forgot to verify the anecdote on 
this occasion), and partly — of which there is no 
doubt — to secure the bed-curtains from being set 
on fire by his candle." 

In a previous chapter we have narrated the 
descent of the manor of Kensington from the time 
of the Conquest, when it was held by the De 
Veres, down to the present day. Sir Walter Cope, 
the purchaser of the Vere property in Kensington, 
was a master of the Court of Wards in the time 
' of James I., and one of the Chamberlains of the 
! Exchequer. He built the centre of the house 
and the turrets, and bequeathed it, as already 
stated, to Sir Henry Rich, the husband of his 
daughter and heiress, Isabel. Not long afterwards, 
Sir Henry was raised to the peerage, when he 
assumed his title of nobility from his wife's in- 
heritance — that of Lord Kensington. The wings 
and arcades were added by this nobleman, Avho 
also completed the internal decorations. His 
lordship was a courtier, and had the honour of 
being employed to negotiate a marriage between 
Prince Charles and the Infanta of Spain ; but the 
negotiation proved abortive. Lord Kensington's 
services were, nevertheless, appreciated and re- 
warded by an earl's coronet and the insignia of 
the Garter. The new title chosen by his lordship 
was Holland, and thence the manor house of 
Kensington received its present appellation. This 
Earl of Holland was a younger son of Robert 
Rich, first Earl of Warwick, by his marriage with 
Penelope, daughter of Queen Elizabeth's favourite, 
the Earl of Essex, and the " Stella " of Sir Philip 
Sidney. He was a favourite with King James's 
" Steenie," Duke of Buckingham, whom he almost 
rivalled in coxcombry. During the prosperous 
portion of Rich's career, Holland House, no doubt, 
was the centre of rank and fashion. The name 
of Bassompierre, the French ambassador, figures 
among the guests here at that time. The earl was 
a political waverer in the "troublous times" of 
Charles I. He was twice made a prisoner in the 
house : first by Charles, in 1633, upon the occasion 
of his challenging Lord Weston, and a second 
time by command of the ParUament, after the 
unsuccessful issue of his attempt to restore the 
king, in 1648. In the following year he lost his 
life on the scaffold in Palace Yard, Westminster ; 
foppish to the last, he is reported to have died in 
a white satin waistcoat or doublet, and a cap made 



[Holland House. 

of the same material, trimmed with silver lace. 
Within a few months of the earl's execution, 
Holland House became the head-quarters of the 
Parliamentary army. General Fairfax becoming its 
occupant. In the Perfect Diurnal, a journal of the 
day, is this entry : — " The Lord-General (Fairfax) 
is removed from Queen Street to the late Earl of 
Holland's house at Kensington, where he intends 
to reside." The mansion, however, was soon 
restored to the earl's widow and children ; and it 
remained quietly in the possession of the family 
almost as long as they lasted. 

It is well known that throughout the gloomy reign 
of Puritanism, under Oliver Cromwell, the dramatic 
profession was utterly proscribed. We are told 
that during this period the actors, who had been 
great loyalists, contrived to perform secretly and 
by stealth at noblemen's houses, where purses were 
collected for the benefit of " the poor players." 
In the " Historia Histrionica," published in 1699, 
it is stated that, " In Oliver's time they [the players] 
used to act privately, three or four miles or more 
out of town, now here, now there, sometimes 
in noblemen's houses, in particular, Holland House 
at Kensington, where the nobility and gentry who 
met (but in no great numbers) used to make a sum 
for them, each giving a broad piece, or the like." 

From the Restoration to the time of the Georges, 
Holland House appears to have been let by the 
noble owners on short leases to a variety of 
persons, and sometimes even in apartments to 
lodgers. Leigh Hunt, in his work already quoted, 
mentions the names of several who, in this manner, 
resided here : among them, Arthur Annesley, the 
first Earl of Anglesey; Sir John Chardin, the 
traveller ; Catherine Darnley, Duchess of Bucking- 
hamshire ; William Penn, the founder of Pennsyl- 
vania; and Shippen, the famous Jacobite, whom 
Pope has immortalised for his sincerity and 
honesty. Robert Rich, the son and successor of 
the first Earl of Holland, succeeded his cousin as 
Earl of Warwick, in consequence of failure of the 
elder branch, and thus united the two coronets of 
his family. He was the father of Edward Rich, 
Earl of Warwick and Holland, whose widow, 
Charlotte, daughter of Sir Thomas Myddleton, of 
Chirk Castle, Denbighshire, married, in 17 16, the 
Right Honourable Joseph Addison, and thus, " by 
linking with the associations of Kensington the 
memory of that illustrious man, has invested with 
a classic halo the groves and shades of Holland 
House." Edward Henry, the next earl — to whom, 
as we have stated, there is a monument in Ken- 
sington Church — was succeeded by his kinsman, 
Edward Rich ; and the daughter and only child 

of this nobleman dying unmarried, the earldom 
became extinct in the middle of the last century. 
Holland House then came into the possession of 
the youthful earl's first cousin, William Edwardes 
(a Welsh gentleman, who was created a Peer of 
Ireland, as Baron Kensington), and was eventually 
sold to the Right Honourable Henry Fox, the 
distinguished politician of the time of George II., 
who, on being created a peer, adopted the title of 
Holland, and with his descendants the mansion 
has continued ever since. 

To the literary circle, of which this house was 
the centre, it is impossible to say how many poets, 
essayists, and other writers have owed their first 
celebrity. It is said that even Goldsmith's charm- 
ing novel, " The Vicar of Wakefield," here found 
its earliest admirer. This beautiful little work re- 
mained unnoticed, and was attacked by the reviews, 
until Lord Holland, who had been ill, sent to his 
bookseller for some amusing book. This was 
supplied, and he was so pleased that he spoke of it 
in the highest terms to a large company who dined 
with him a few days after. The consequence was 
that the whole impression was sold off in a few 

It has been said that Addison obtained an 
introduction to his future wife in the capacity of 
tutor to her son, the young Earl of Warwick ; but 
this supposition appears to be negatived by two 
letters written by Addison to the earl, when a boy, 
wherein the writer evinces an entire ignorance of 
the advances which his correspondent might have 
made in classical attainment. The letters are dated 
1708. Addison had been appointed Under- 
Secretary of State two years previously, and it 
seems improbable that he should have undertaken 
the office of tutor at a subsequent period. His 
courtship of the countess, however, is said to have 
been marked by tedious formalities ; and it is further 
asserted that her ladyship at first encouraged his 
overtures with a view of extracting amusement from 
the diffidence and singularity of his character. 
From the following anecdote, which is told respect- 
ing Addison's courtship, there would seem to be a 
show of. truth in the story. The tenor of this 
anecdote is that " he endeavoured to fathom her 
sentiments by reading to her an article in a news- 
paper (which he himself had caused to be inserted), 
stating the probability of a marriage taking place 
between the reader and the auditress ! From a 
comparison of dates, and a further examination of 
internal evidence," adds the narrative, " there is 
reason to suppose that Addison meant as a playful 
description of his own courtship that of Sir Roger 
de Coverley to the widow with a white hand ; and, 

Holland House. J 



if so, how highly is the world indebted to the warm 
fancy of the one party, and the want of deter- 
mination in the other ! " It was, in all probabiHty, 
at this period of his life that Addison had a cottage 
at Fulham ; at all events, he figures in " Esmond," 
as walking thither from Kensington at night-time. 
" When the time came to take leave, Esmond 
marched homewards to his lodgings, and met 
Mr. Addison on the road, walking to a cottage 
which he had at Fulham, the moon shining on his 
handsome serene face. ' What cheer, brother ! ' 
says Addison, laughing ; ' I thought it was a foot- 
pad advancing in the dark, and, behold, it is an 
old friend ! W^e may shake hands, colonel, in the 
dark, 'tis better than fighting by daylight, ^^^hy 
should we quarrel because I am a ^\^hig and thou 
art a Tory? Turn thy steps and walk with me to 
Fulham, where there is a nightingale still singing 
in the garden, and a cool bottle in a cave I know 
of. You shall drink to the Pretender, if you like ; 
I will drink my liquor in my own way ! ' " 

The growing renown of Addison — perhaps his 
fame as a writer, or, more probably, his accession 
of political importance — assisted in persuading the 
countess to become his wife. But the marriage 
was productive of little comfort j and this un- 
fortunate marriage is said to have been the cause 
of his indulging to excess in drink. Be that as it 
may, Addison himself wrote vehemently against 
cowardice seeking strength " in the bottle ; " yet it is 
asserted that he often withdrew from the bickerings 
of his Countess to the coftee-house or the tavern. 
His favourite places of resort are said to have been 
the White Horse Inn, at the bottom of Holland 
House Lane, and Button's Coffee-house, in Russell 
Street, Covent Garden, where we have already 
made his acquaintance.* The fruit of this un- 
propitious union was one daughter, who died, at 
an advanced age, at Bilton, an estate in Warwick- 
shire which Addison had purchased some years 
previously. Addison himself died at the end of 
three years after his marriage. The story of his 
death-bed here has been often told, but very 
probably it is a little apocryphal in its details. 
Lord Warwick was a young man of very irregular 
life, and of loose opinions. Addison, for whom he 
did not want respect, had very diligently en- 
deavoured to reclaim him ; but his arguments and 
expostulations had no effect. One experiment, 
however, remained to be tried, "\^^len he found 
his life near its end, he directed the young lord 
to be called, and told him, " I have sent for 
you that you may see how a Christian can die." 

• See Vol. in., p. 277. 

It was to this young nobleman that Somerville 
addressed his " Elegiac Lines on the Death of 
jSIr. Addison," wherein occur the lines having 
reference to his burial in Westminster Abbey : — 

"Can I forget the dismal night that gave 
My soul's best part for ever to the grave ? 
How silent did his old companions tread, 
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead, 
Thro' breathing statues, then unheeded things, 
Thro' rows of warriors, and thro' walks of kings ! 
What av.'e did the slow, solemn knell inspire, 
The pealing organ, and the pausing choir ; 
The duties by the lawn-rob'd prelate paid, 
And the last words, that dust to dust convey'd ! " 

A short time before his death, Addison sent to 
request a visit from the poet Gay, and told him, on 
their meeting, that he had once done him an 
injury, but that if he survived his present affliction 
lie would endeavour to repair it. Gay did not 
know the nature of the injury which had been 
inflicted, but supposed that he might have lost 
some appointment through the intervention of 

"Addison," writes Leigh Hunt, "it must be 
owned, did not shine during his occupation of 
Holland House. He married, and was not happy ; 
he was made Secretary of State, and was not a 
good one ; he was in Parliament, and could not 
Speak in it ; he quarrelled with, and even treated 
contemptuously, his old friend and associate, Steele, 
who declined to return the injury. Yet there, in 
Holland House, he lived and wrote, nevertheless, 
■with a literary glory about his name, which never 
can desert the place; and to Holland House, 
while he resided in it, must have come all the 
distinguished men of the day, for, though a Whig, 
he was personally ' well in,' as the phrase is, with 
the majority of all parties. He was in com- 
munication with Swift, who was a Tory, and with ■ 
Pope, who was neither Tory nor W^ng. It was 
now that the house and its owners began to appear 
in verse. Rowe addressed stanzas to Addison's 
bride; and Tickell, after his death, touchingly 
apostrophizes the place — 

" ' Thou hill, whose brow the antique stnictures grace, 
Rear'd by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race ; 
Why, once so loved, whene'er thy bower appears, 
O'er my dim eyeballs glance the sudden tears ?' 
* ***** 

" It seems to have been in Holland House (for 
he died shortly afterwards) that Addison Avas 
visited by Milton's daughter, when he had re- 
quested her to bring him some evidences of her 
birth. The moment he beheld her, he exclaimed, 
' Madame, you need no other voucher ; your face 
is a sufficient testimonial whose daughter you are. 



[Holland House. 

It must have been very pleasing to Addison to 
befriend Milton's daughter ; for he had been the 
first to popularise the great poet by his critiques 
on 'Paradise Lost,' in the Spectator." 

After the death of Addison, Holland House 
remained in the possession of the ^Var\vick family, 

Anne. After having had a numerous offspring by 
one wife, Sir Stephen married another at the age of 
seventy-six, and had three more children, two of 
whom founded the noble families of Holland and 
Ilchester. It was reported that Stephen Fox had 
been a singing-boy in one of our English cathedrals ; 


and of their heir. Lord Kensington, until, as we 
have stated above, it was purchased by Henry 
Fox, who subsequently became a lord himself, and 
took his title from the mansion. This was towards 
the close of the reign of George II. 

Henry Fox, the first Lord Holland of the new 
creation, was the youngest son of Sir Stephen Fox, 
a distinguished politician during the reigns of 
Charles H,, James IL, William TIT., and Queen 

Walpole says he was a footman ; and the late I^ord 
Holland, who was a man of too noble a nature to 
affect ignorance of such traditions, candidly owns 
that he was a man of " very humble origin." 
Henry Fox was the political opponent of the first 
William Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham. The 
chief transactions of his lordship's public life are 
all duly recorded in the pages of history. Leigh 
Hunt, in his own lively manner, writes thus of 

Holland House.] 






[Holland House. 

him : — " Fox had begun Hfe as a partisan of Sir 
Robert Walpole ; and in the course of his cai'eer 
held lucrative offices under Government — that of 
Paymaster of the Forces, for one — in which he 
enriched himself to a degree which incurred a great 
deal of suspicion." A good story is told concern- 
ing Fox whilst he held the above-mentioned office ; 
it is one which will bear repeating here. After 
Admiral Byron's engagement in the West Indies, 
there arose a great clamour about the badness of 
the ammunition served out. Soon afterwards, Mr. 
Fox fought a duel with a Mr. Adam. The former 
received his adversary's ball, which, happily, made 
but a very .slight impression. " Egad, sir ! " ob- 
served Fox, " it would have been all over with me 
if we had not charged our pistols Avith Govern- 
ment powder." 

Fox, however, was latterly denounced, in a City 
address, as the " defaulter of unaccounted millions." 
"Public accounts, in those times, were strangely 
neglected ; and the family have said that his were 
in no worse condition than those of others ; but 
they do not deny that he was a jobber. Fox, 
however, for a long time did not care. The 
joyousness of his temperament, together with some 
very lax notions of morality, enabled him to be at 
ease with himself as long as his blood spun so 
well. He jobbed and prospered ; ran away with 
a duke's daughter ; contrived to reconcile himself 
with the family (that of Richmond) ; got his wife 
made a baroness ; was made a lord himself — Baron 
Holland, of Foxley ; was a husband, notwith- 
standing his jobbing, loving and beloved ; was an 
indulgent father ; a gay and social friend — in short, 
had as happy a life of it as health and spirits could 
make, till, unfortunately, health and spirits failed, 
and then there seems to have been a remnant of 
his father's better portion within him, Avliich did 
not allow him to be so well satisfied with himself 
in his decline." The story of Henry Fox's elope- 
ment with the Duke of Richmond's daughter, Lady 
Georgiana Caroline Lennox, is thus told in the 
"Old Court Suburb:"— "The duke was a grand- 
son of Charles IL, and both he and the duchess 
had declined to favour the suit of Mr. Fox, the 
son of the equivocal Sir Stephen. They reckoned 
on her marrying another man, and an evening was 
appointed on which the suitor in question was 
to be formally introduced to her. Lady Caroline, 
whose affections the dashing statesman had secretly 
engaged, was at her wits' end to know how to 
baffle this interview. She had evaded the choice 
of the family as long as possible, but tins appoint- 
ment looked like a crisis. The gentleman is to 
come in the evening; the lady is to prepare for 

his reception by a more than ordinary attention to 
her toilet. This gives her the cue to what is to be 
done. The more than ordinary attention is paid ; 
but it is in a way that renders the interview im- 
possible. She has cut off her eyebrows. How 
can she be seen by anybody in such a trim ? The 
indignation of the duke and duchess is great ; but 
the thing is manifestly impossible. She is accord- 
ingly left to herself for the night ; she has perfected 
her plan, in expectation of the result; and the con- 
sequence is, that when next her parents inquire for 
her, she has gone. Nobody can find her. She is 
off for Mr. Fox." This runaway marriage took 
place in the Fleet Prison, in the year 1744. In 
January, 1761, two years before the elevation of 
Mr. Fox to the peerage, Horace Walpole was 
present at a performance of private theatricals 
at Holland House — a sight which greatly enter- 
tained him. The play selected to be performed 
by children and very young ladies was Jane Shore, 
Lady Sarah Lennox, a sister of Lady Georgiana 
Fox, enacting the heroine ; while the boy afterwards 
eminent as Charles James Fox played the part of 
" Hastings," and his brother, Henry Edward, then 
six years old, enacted the " Bishop of Ely," dressed 
in lawn sleeves, and with a square cap (this little 
boy died a general in the army in 181 1). Walpole 
praises the acting of the performers, but particularly 
that of Lady Sarah Lennox, who, he says, "was 
more beautiful than you can conceive, ... in 
white, with her hair about her ears, and on the 
ground; no Magdalen by Correggio was half so 
lovely and expressive." The charms of this lovely 
person had already made an impression on the 
heart of George III., then newly come to the 
throne at two-and-twenty. There seems no reason 
to doubt that the young monarch formed the 
design of raising his lovely cousin (for such she 
was, in a certain sense) to a share of the throne. 
The following story concerning the pair we quote 
from Timbs' " Romance of London : " — " Early in 
the winter of 17 60-1, the king took an opportunity 
of speaking to Lady Sarah's cousin. Lady Susan 
Strangways, expressing a hope at the drawing-room 
that her ladyship was not soon to leave town. 
She said that she should be leaving soon. ' But,' 
said the king, ' you will return in summer for the 
coronation.' Lady Susan answered that ' she did 
not know — she hoped so.' 'But,' said the king 
again, ' they talk of a wedding. There have been 
many proposals ; but 1 think an English match 
would do better than a foreign one. Pray, tell 
Lady Sarah Lennox I say so.' Here was a 
sufficiently broad hint to inflame the hopes of a 
family, and to raise the head of a blooming girl of 

Holland House.] 



sixteen to the fifth heavens. It happened, how- 
ever, that Lady Sarah had already allowed her 
heart to be pre-occupied, having formed a girlish 
attachment for the young Lord Newbottle, grand- 
son of the Marquis of Lothian. She did not, 
therefore, enter into the views of her family with 
all the alacrity which they desired. According to 
the narrative of Mr. Grenville, she went the next 
'drawing-room to St. James's, and stated to the 
iking, in as few words as she could, the incon- 
|veniences and difficulties in which such a step 
would involve him. He said that was his business ; 
he would stand them all ; his part was taken, and 
[he wished to hear her's was likewise. In this state 
lit continued, whilst she, by the advice of her 
friends, broke off with Lord Newbottle, very re- 
iluctantly, on her part. She went into the country 
[for a few days, and by a fall from her horse broke 
her leg. The absence which this occasioned gave 
time and opportunities for her enemies to work ; 
they instilled jealousy into the king's mind upon 
the subject of Lord Newbottle, telling him that 
Lady Sarah Lennox still continued her intercourse 
with him ; and immediately the marriage with the 
Princess of Strelitz was set on foot ; and at Lady 
Sarah's return from the country, she found herself 
deprived of her crown and her lover, Lord New- 
bottle, who complained as much of her as she did 
of the king. While this was in agitation. Lady 
Sarah used to meet the king in his rides early in 
the morning, driving a little chaise with Lady 
Susan Strangways ; and once, it is said, that, 
wanting to speak to him, she went dressed like a 
servant-maid, and stood amongst the crowd in the 
guard-room, to say a few words to him as he passed 
by." Walpole also relates that Lady Sarah would 
sometimes appear as a haymaker in the park at 
Holland House, in order to attract the attention 
of the king as he rode past ; but the opportunity 
was lost. The gossiping chronicler adds also, that 
his Majesty blushed scarlet red at his wedding- 
service when allusion was made to "Abraham and 
Sarah." The lady survived her disappointment, 
and became the mother of the gallant Napiers. 

Three children were the fruit of Lord Holland's 
marriage with Lady Georgiana Lennox, and he 
proved the fondest of parents. When his lordship 
was dangerously ill, he was informed that George 
Selwyn had called at his door to inquire after him. 
Selwyn, as is well known, was notorious for his 
passion for " being in at the death " of all his 
acquaintances, and for attending, more especially, 
every execution that took place. " Be so good," 
said his lordship, " in case Mr. Selwyn calls again, 
^ to show him up without fail ; for if I am alive, I 

shall be delighted to see him, and if I am dead, I 
am sure he will be very pleased to see me.' 

Of Stephen, second Lord Holland, we have 
nothing to say, beyond that he was good-natured 
and whimsical, and that he died before reaching 
his thirtieth year. His brother, the celebrated 
Charles James Fox, the " man of the people," is 
not much associated with Holland House, except 
as a name. Here, it is true, he passed his boy- 
hood and part of his youth, during which period he 
was allowed to have pretty much his own way ; in 
fact, he was what is generally styled a " spoilt 
child." His father is said never to have thwarted 
his will in anything. Thus, the boy expressing a 
desire one day to " smash a watch," the father, 
after ascertaining that the little gentleman did 
positively feel such a desire, and was not disposed 
to give it up, said, " Well, if you must, I suppose 
you must ; " and the watch was at once smashed. 
On another occasion, his father, having resolved 
to take down the wall before Holland House, and 
to have an iron railing put up in its stead, found it 
necessary to use gunpowder to facilitate the work. 
He had promised his son, Charles James, that he 
should be present whenever the explosion took 
place. Finding that the labourers had blasted the 
brickwork in his absence, he ordered the wall to 
be rebuilt ; and, when it was thoroughly cemented, 
had it blown up again for the gratification of his 
favourite boy ; at the same time advising those 
about him never, on any account, to break a 
promise with children. 

Henry Richard Fox, the third lord, who came to 
the title before he was a year old, lived to rescue the 
mansion from the ruin which at one time threatened 
it, and may be said to have resided in it during 
the whole of his life, in the enjoyment of his books, 
and dispensing his hospitalities to wits and worthies 
of all parties. His lordship married Elizabeth, the 
daughter and heiress of Mr. Richard Vassall, whose 
name he afterwards assumed ; his children retaining 
the name of Fox. It is, perhaps, to this nobleman, 
with the exception of Addison, that Holland House 
owes most of its celebrity and its literary interest. 
Among the visitors round its hospitable board, 
Macaulay mentions the name of Prince Talleyrand, 
Lord Lansdowne, Lord John Russell, Lord Mel- 
bourne, the Marchioness of Clanricarde (Canning's 
daughter, who for many years did not forget to take 
vengeance on the colleagues and political opponents 
who had killed her father) ; Lord King, the bishop- 
hater ; Wilberforce, the philanthropist ; Lord Rad- 
nor, Charles Grant, and Mackintosh. Byron and 
Campbell, too, were guests here ; and the name of 
Lord Holland is embalmed by the former in his 



[Holland House. 

dedication of " The Bride of Abydos," and by the 
latter in that of " Gertrude of Wyoming.'"' 

It is evident from Macaulay, Tom jMoore, and 
the other members of the Holland House clique, 
that, though they were nominally the guests of 
Lord Holland, their real entertainer was her lady- 
ship, in whom was illustrated the proverb which 
declares that " the grey mare is often the better 
horse." In fact, she was not only lady paramount 
in the house, but often insolently imperious towards 
her guests, whom, as one man wittily remarked, 
she treated like her vassals, though she was only 
a Vassall herself, alluding, of course, to her maiden 
name. "The centurion," it has been remarked, 
"did not keep his soldiers in better order than she 
keeps her guests. It is to one, ' Go,' and he goeth ; 
and to another, ' Do this,' and it is done. ' Ring 
the bell, Mr. Macaulay.' 'Lay down the screen. 
Lord Russell ; you will spoil it.' ' Mr. Allen, take 
a candle, and show Mr. Cradock the pictures of 
Buonaparte.'" Lord Holland was, on the other 
hand, all kindness, simplicity, and vivacity. One 
of the occasional visitors here, Mr. Granville Penn, 
said about her ladyship a good thing, which, while 
it helped to establish his credit as a wit, excluded 
him from its hospitable doors for ever. " Holland 
House," a friend remarked to him, "is really a 
most pleasant place ; and in Lord Holland's com- 
pany you might imagine yourself inside the home 
of Socrates." " It certainly always seemed so 
to me; for I often seemed to hear Xanthippe 
talking rather loud in the adjoining room," was 
Mr. Penn's reply. In fact, Lady Holland herself, 
who presided at the rhinions of Holland House, 
was most arbitrary and domineering in her manner, 
and, consequently, made herself unpopular with 
some of her guests. When she heard that Sir 
Henry Holland Avas about to be made a baronet, 
she expressed herself vexed that there would be 
"two Lady Hollands." But that could not be 
helped. Ugo Foscolo, in spite of having obtained 
the entree of Holland House, could not help re- 
garding her with aversion, and once said, with a 
strong emphasis, that, " though he could go any- 
where" — even to a certain place, which shall be 
nameless — " with his lordship, he should be sorry 
to go to heaven with Lady Holland." 

Macaulay did not find an entree here till after he 
liad made his mark in Parliament. Lady Holland 
on one occasion took him into her own drawing- 
room to see her pictures, which included thirty by 
Stothard, all on subjects from Lord Byron's poems. 
" Yes," said her ladyship, " poor Lord Byron sent 
them to me a short time before the separation. I 
sent them back, and told him that, if he gave them 

away, he ought to give them to Lady Byron. But 
he said that he would not, and that if I did 
not take them the bailiffs would, and that they 
would be lost in the wreck." Samuel Rogers pro- 
mised to be there to meet Macaulay, " in order to 
give him an insight into the ways of that house," 
and of its imperious mistress, whose pride and 
rudeness must have been simply intolerable to 
ordinary mortals. Rogers was the great oracle of 
the Holland House circle— a sort of non-resident 
premier. To some members of the literary world i 
who had not the privilege of joining in the charming 
circle at Holland House, the sense of their exclu- 
sion seemed to find vent in some shape or form. 
Theodore Hook would appear to be one of these, 
for about the year 1819, among other experiments, 
he tried to set up a tiny magazine of his own — the 
Arcadian — published, we believe, at a shilling ; but j 
we know not how many numbers of it were issued ' 
before the publisher lost heart. One number con- 
tained a lengthy ballad of provoking pungenc}-, 
satirising Holland House in very severe terms. 

Some excellent remarks apropos of Holland 
House gatherings and its associations may here be 
abridged from Mr. J. Fisher Murray's " Environs 
of London," in which a scholar who had the entree 
of that hospitable mansion writes, at once pro- 
phetically and pathetically, as follows : — " Yet a 
few years, and these shades and these structures 
may follow their illustrious masters. The wonderful 
city which, ancient and gigantic as it is, still con- 
tinues to grow, as a young town of logwood by a 
water-privilege in Michigan, may soon dispense 
with those turrets and gardens which are associated 
with so much that is interesting and noble ; with 
the courtly magnificence of Rich, with the loves of 
Ormond, with the councils of Cromwell, with the 
death of Addison. The time is coming when, 
perhaps, a few old men, the last survivors of our 
generation, will seek in vain, amid new streets and 
squares, and railway stations, for the site of that 
dwelling which in their youth Avas the favourite 
resort of wits and beauties, of painters and poets, 
of scholars, philosophers, and statesmen ; they will 
remember, with strange tenderness, many objects 
familiar to them — the avenue and terrace, the busts 
and the paintings, the carvings, the grotesque 
gilding, and the enigmatical mottoes. With pecu- 
liar tenderness they will recall that venerable 
chamber in which all the antique gravity of a 
college library was so singularly blended with all 
that female grace and wit could devise to embellish 
a drawing-room. They will recollect, not unmoved, 
those shelves loaded with the varied learning of 
many lands and many ages; those portraits in 

Holland House.] 



which were pr&served the features of the best and 
wisest EngHshmen of two generations. They will 
recollect how many men who have guided the 
politics of Europe, w^ho have moved great assemblies 
by reason and eloquence, who have put life into 
bronze or canvas, or who have left to posterity 
things so written that society will not willingly let 
them die, were there mixed with all that was 
lovely, and gayest in the society of the most 
splendid of modem capitals. . . . They will 
remember the singular character, too, which be- 
longed to that circle; in which every talent and 
accomplishment, every art and science, had its 
place. They will remember how the last Parlia- 
mentary debate was discussed in one corner, and 
the last comedy of Scribe in another; while 
AVilkie gazed in admiration on Reynolds's 'Baretti ;' 
while Mackintosh turned over Thomas Aquinas to 
verify a quotation ; while Talleyrand related his 
conversation with Barras at the Luxembourg, or his 
ride with Lannes over the field of Austerhzt. They 
will remember, above all, the grace and the kind- 
ness — far more admirable than grace — with which 
the princely hospitality of that ancient mansion 
was dispensed ; they will remember the venerable 
and benignant countenance of him who bade them 
welcome there ; they will remember that temper 
which thirty years of sickness, of lameness, and of 
confinement served only to make sweeter; and, 
above all, that frank politeness which at once re- 
lieved all the embarrassment of the most timid 
author or artist who found himself for the first time 
among ambassadors and earls. They will re- 
member, finally, that in the last lines which he 
traced he expressed his joy that he had done 
nothing unworthy of the friend of Fox and of 
Grey ; and they will have reason to feel a similar 
joy if, in looking back on many troubled years of 
life, they cannot accuse themselves of having done 
anything unworthy of men who were honoured by 
the friendship of Lord Holland." 

Mr. Rush, in his " Court of London," tells us a 
good story of a little incident which happened in 
the drawing-room here after dinner. Advancing 
towards Sir Philip Francis, Mr. Rogers asked 
permission to put a question to him. Francis, no 
doubt, guessed what was coming, for everybody at 
the time was asking, " Who is Junius ? " and many 
persons were even then more than disposed to 
identify him with the author of the " Letters " which 
were published under that signature, and were 
exciting the nation. Francis, who was an irritable 
man, shut him fairly up with the words, " At your 
peril, sir I " On this, Rogers quietly turned away, 
observing that if Francis was not "Junius," at all 

events he was " Brutus." It is not a little singular, 
if the letters were not ^mtten by Francis, that 
they ceased to appear after the very day on which 
Francis quitted the shores of England fjpr India, 
and that Garrick, who was in the secret, prophe- 
sied a day or two before that they were about 
to cease. 

On the death of his uncle, Charles James Fox, 
Lord Holland was introduced into the Cabinet 
as Lord Privy Seal ; but the strength of the 
Whig portion of the Government had then de- 
parted, and the only measure worthy of notice in 
which his lordship co-operated after his accession 
to office was the Bill for the Abolition of the Slave 
Trade. He took an active part in the multifarious 
debates upon the Catholic question, the Regency 
Bill, (Sec. ; and when the Bill to legalise the detention 
of Napoleon as a prisoner of war was before the 
House of Lords, Lord Holland raised his voice 
against it, and, until death relieved the prisoner, he 
never ceased to deprecate what he deemed the 
unwarrantable conduct towards him of tlie British 
Government and its agents. 

Lord Holland died in October, 1840, after an 
illness of only two days' duration. Mr. T. Raikes, 
in notifying the occurrence in his '"' Diary," remarks : 
— " Flahault had been staying at Holland House 
while he was in England, and left him in good 
health on Tuesday. He arrived here yesterday 
morning, and to-day receives the account of his 
death. Lord Holland was in the Cabinet, and held 
the lucrative post of Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster; he was sixty-seven. When I went to 
Eton he was the head of the school, and was the 
first prepositor that gave me my liberty. He was a 
mild, amiable man, ruled by his wife. She was a 
IMiss Vassall, with a large fortune, who eloped with 
him from her first husband. Sir Godfrey Webster ; 
she is a great politician, and affects the es_prit fort. 
They kept a hospitable house, and received all the 
wits of the day." The following lines were written 
by Lord Holland on the morning of the day when 
his last illness commenced, and were found after his 
death on his dressing-room table : — 

" Nephew of Fox and friend of Grey, 
Sufficient for my fame, 
If those who knew me best shall say 
I tarnished neither name." 

Mr. Raikes also adds : — " Mrs. Darner writes me 
that the new Lord Holland inherits an estate of 
;^6,ooo per annum, on which there is an enormous 
debt. Holland House is left to Lady Holland, who 
will not live there."' " Lord Holland," says Mr. 
Peter Cunningham, "called on Lord Lansdowne a 
little before his death, and showed him his epitaph 



[Holland House. 

of his own composing. ' Here lies Henry Vassall 
Fox, Lord Holland, Sec, who was drowned while 
sitting in his elbow-chair,' He died in this house, in 
his elbow-chair, of water in the chest." 

The following is a character of Lord Holland, 
written by a friend :— " The benignant, the accom- 
plished Lord Holland is no more ; the last and best 
of the Whigs of the old school, the long-tried friend 
of civil and religious liberty, has closed a life which 

to have a hearing for every argument, lest a truth 
should be shut out from his mind. The charm of 
his conversation will never be forgotten by those 
who have enjoyed it. His mind was full of anec- 
dote, which was always introduced with the most 
felicitous appositeness, and exquisitely narrated. 

" Lord Holland had lived with all the most dis- 
tinguished and eminent men of the last forty years ; 
but his knowledge of the greatest, the most eloquent. 


has been an ornament and a bulwark of the Liberal 
cause. He was one of England's worthies in the 
pristine sense of the word ; and a more finished 
example of the steady statesman, the urbane 
gentleman, and the accomplished scholar, never 
existed. Lord Holland's was a fine mind, and a 
fine mind in perpetual exercise of the most health- 
ful kind. It was observed of him that he was 
never found without a good book in his hand. His 
understanding was thoroughly masculine, his taste 
of a delicacy approaching perhaps to a fault. His 
opinions he maintained earnestly and energetically, 
but with a rare, a beautiful candour. Nothing was 
proscribed with him. As of old, the meanest way- 
farers used to be received hospitably, lest angels 
should be turned away ; so Lord Holland seemed 

the most witty, or the most leavned, had not indis- 
posed him to appreciate merits and talents of a less 
great order. He was a friend of merit wherever it 
could be found, and knew how to value and to 
encourage it in all its degrees. 

" None ever enjoyed life more than Lord Holland, 
or enjoyed it more intellectually, and none contri- 
tributed more largely to the enjoyment of others. 
He possessed the sunshine of the breast, and no 
one could approach him without feeling its genial in- 
fluence. Lord Holland was a wit, without a particle 
of ill nature, and a man of learning, without a taint 
of pedantry. His apprehension of anything good 
was unfailing ; nothing worth observing and re- 
marking ever escaped him. The void which Lord 
Holland has left will never be filled ; a golden 

Holland House.] 



link with the genius of the last age' is broken and 
gone. The fine intellect, whose light burned at the 
shrine of freedom, is extinguished. An influence 
the most propitious to the peace, so precious to 
the world's best interests, is lost when the need 
of it is great indeed." 

streets and villas between Kensington and Notting 
Hill. In the above year, however, this feeling was 
quieted by the rumour that Lady Holland, the 
widow of the last lord, had disposed of the rever- 
sion of the house, by sale, to the Earl of Ilchester, 
who. it was stated, had expressed his intention of 


Lord Holland was succeeded in his title and 
estates by his only son, Henry Edward, who was 
some time the British Minister at the Court of 
Tuscany. He died at Naples in 1859, when the 
barony became extinct. From that time, down to 
the year 1874, it was always a matter of apprehen- 
sion that a day would sooner or later come when, 
as prophesied by Sir Walter Scott, Holland House 
must become a thing of the past, and be swept 
away in order to make room for new lines of 

keeping the mansion in its integrity. Loi?d Ilch es- 
ter's name is Fox-Strang\vays, and it is the latter 
name that has been assumed by his branch of the 
family, the first Lord Holland and the first Lord 
Ilchester, as stated above, having been brothers. 
Lord Macaulay, in wTiting of Holland House, says 
it " can boast of a greater number of inmates dis- 
tinguished in political and literary history than any 
other private dwelling in England." In the life- 
time of the third Lord Holland it was the meeting- 



[Holland House. 

place of the Whig party ; and his liberal hospitality 
made it, as Lord Brougham tells us, " the resort 
not only of the most interesting persons composing 
English society, literary, philosophical, and political, 
but also to all belonging to those classes who ever 
visited this country from abroad." 

With the death of the third Lord Holland, the 
glories of Holland House may be said to have 
passed away, although the building has been occu- 
pied as an occasional residence by the widow of 
the last lord since his death in 1859; and an air 
of solitude seems indeed to have gathered round 
the old mansion. A custom was observed for many 
years, till a recent date, of firing off a cannon at 
eleven o'clock every night ; this custom originated, 
we believe, through a burglary which was once 
attempted here. 

Several spots in the grounds round the house 
have acquired celebrity in connection with some 
name or circumstance. Of these we may note the 
part lying to the west, towards the Addison Road, 
which formerly went by the name of " the Moats," 
where the duel between Captain Best and the 
notorious Lord Camelford took place, early in the 
present century. The exact spot is supposed to 
have been the site of the older mansion belonging 
to the De Veres. The quarrel between Lord 
Camelford and Mr. Best, of which we have spoken 
in our accounts of New Bond Street and Conduit 
Street,* was on account of a friend of Lord Camel- 
ford, a lady of the name of Symons, and it occurred 
at the "Prince of Wales's" coffee-house in Conduit 
Street. The duel was fought on the following day 
(March 7, 1804), and Lord Camelford was killed. 
Although there really was no adequate cause for a 
quarrel, the eccentric nobleman would persist in 
fighting Mr. Best, because the latter was deemed 
the best shot in England, and that " to have made 
an apology would have exposed his lordship's 
courage to suspicion." The parties met on the 
ground about eight o'clock in the morning, and 
liaving taken up their position, Lord Camelford 
gave the first shot, which missed his antagonist, 
when Mr. Best fired, and lodged the contents of 
his weapon in his lordship's body. He immediately 
fell, and calling his adversary to him, seized him 
by the hand, and exclaimed, " I am a dead man .' 
you have killed me; but I freely forgive you." 
He repeated several times that he was the sole 
aggressor. He was conveyed to a house close at 
hand, and a surgeon soon arrived from Kensington, 
and immediately pronounced the wound mortal. 
Upon the spot where the duel was fought the late 

• See Vol. IV., pp. 302, 323. 

Lord Holland set up an " expiatory classical altar," 
which, however, was removed a few years ago. 
With the passion for eccentricity which had 
characterised him. Lord Camelford had directed 
that he should be buried in a lonely spot on an 
island in Switzerland, which had interested him 
during his travels ; his wishes, however, were not 
complied with, for his body was interred in the 
vaults of St. Anne's Church, Soho, where it still 
remains.* " This very spot," the Princess Marie 
Lichstenstein tells us, "was, a few years "ago, the 
scene of merry parties, where the Duke and Duchess 
d'Aumale used to fish with the late Lord Holland." 
At the back of the mansion is a broad expanse of 
greensward, dotted here and there with stately 
elms; and here, in an alcove facing the west, is 
inscribed the couplet that we have given as a motto 
to this chapter, and which was put up by the late 
Lord Holland in honour of Mr. Rogers. Here is 
also a copy of verses by Mr. Luttrell, expressing 
his inability to emulate the poet. The undulating 
grounds on this side of the house are terminated by 
a row of mansions built on the fringe of the estate ; 
and the eastern side is bounded by a rustic lane, 
in part overhung with trees. Close by the western 
side of the house are small gardens, laid out in 
both the ancient and modern styles, the work of 
the late Lady Holland, the former of them being a 
fitting accompaniment to the old house. Here are 
evergreens clipped into all sorts of fantastic forms, 
together with fountains and tenraces befitting the 
associations of the place. In one of these gardens, 
says Leigh Hunt, was raised the first specimen of 
the dahlia, which the late Lord Holland is under- 
stood to have brought from Spain ; in another, on 
a pedestal, is a colossal bust of Napoleon, by a 
pupil of Canova. Engraved on the pedestal is a 
quotation from Homer's " Odyssey," which may be 
thus rendered in English : — 

" The hero is not dead, but breathes the air 
In lands beyond the deep : 
Some island sea-begirded, where 
Harsh men the prisoner keep." 

The Highland and Scottish Societies' gatherings, 
with their characteristic sports and pastimes, were 
held in these grounds for many years. 

The grounds around the liouse are rich in oaks, 
plane-trees, and stately cedars, wliose dark foliage 
sets off the features of the old mansion. Of the 
grounds in front of the house, there is a tradition 
that Cromwell and Ireton conferred there, " as a 
place in which tliey could not be overheard." 
Leigh Hunt, in his " Old Court Suburb," observes 

• See Vol. III., p. 182. 

'Netting Hill.] 



that, "whatever the subject of their conference 
may have been, they could not have objected to 
being seen, for there were neither walls, nor even 
trees, we beheve, at that time in front of the house, 
as there are now ; and," he adds, " we may fancy 
royalists riding by, on their road to Brentford, where 
the king's forces were defeated, and trembling to 
see the two grim republicans laying their heads 

Near Holland House, in Nightingale Lane, 
stands a small mansion, called Little Holland 
House, where Mrs. Inchbald once spent a few days 
with its occupant, a Mrs. Bubb ; here, too, lived 
and died Miss Fox, sister of the late Lord Holland. 

Facing the Uxbridge Road at the extreme end, 
at the north-west corner of the grounds of Holland 
House, there was a smaller mansion, with a 
" pleasaunce " garden and lawn, of about seven 
acres, which for many years was owned and 
tenanted by a natural son of Lord Holland — 
General Fox, the celebrated numismatist, some 

time M.P, for Stroud, and Secretary to the 
Ordnance Board, who married Lady Mary Fitz- 
clarence. The grounds, however, were sold in 
1875 for building purposes, and the house was 
soon after pulled down. 

At the western extremity of the parish of Ken- 
sington, on the road towards Hammersmith, were 
the nursery-grounds of Messrs. Lee. These 
grounds, says Leigh Hunt, " have been known in 
the parish books, under the title of the Vineyard, 
ever since the time of William the Conqueror. 
Wine, described as a sort of burgundy, was actually 
made and sold in them as late as the middle of 
the last century. James Lee, the founder of the 
present firm who own the grounds, was the author 
of one of the earliest treatises on botany, and a cor- 
respondent of Linnaeus." In Faulkner's " History 
of Kensington," published in 1820, we read that the 
nursery-grounds round this neighbourhood covered 
no less than 124 acres, and that they belonged to 
eight different proprietors. 


The Old Turnpike Gate— Derivation of the Name of Netting Hill— The Manor of Netting or Nutting Barns— Present Aspect of Netting Hill— Old 
Inns and Taverns— Gallows Close— The Road where Lord Holland drew up his Forces previous to the Battle of Brentford— Kensington 
Gravel Pits — Tradesmen's Tokens— A Favourite Locality for Artists and Laundresses — Appearance of the District at the Beginning of the 
Present Century — Reservoirs of the Grand Junction Waterworks Company — Ladbroke Square and Grove — Kensington Park Gardens — St 
John's Church— Netting Hill Farm— Norland Square— Orme Square— Bayswater House, the Residence of Fauntleroy, the Forger— St. 
Petersburgh Place— The Hippodrome— St. Stephen's Church— Portobelle Farm— The Convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor— Bays- 
water— The Cultivation of Watercresses— An Ancient Conduit — Public Tea Gardens— Sir John Hill, the Botanist — Craven House — Craven 
Road, and Craven Hill Gardens— The Pest-house Fields— Upton Farm— I'he To.\epholite Society— Westbourne Grove and Terrace— The 
Residence of John Sadleir, the Fraudulent M. P.— Lancaster Gate— The Pioneer of Tramways— Queen Charlotte's Lying-in Hospital— Death 
cf Dr. Adam Clarks — The Burial-ground of St. George's, Hanover Square. 

As soon as ever we quit the precincts of Ken- 
sington proper, and cross the Uxbridge Road, we 
become painfully conscious of a change. We have 
left the " Old Court Suburb," and find ourselves in 
one that is neither " old" nor " court-like." The 
roadway, with its small shops on either side, is 
narrow and unattractive, and the dwellings are not 
old enough to have a history or to afford shelter for 
an anecdote. About the centre of this thorough- 
fare, at the spot whence omnibuses are continually 
starting on the journey eastward towards the City, 
stood, till about the year i860, a small and rather 
picturesque turnpike-gate, which commanded not 
only the road towards Netting Hill and Shepherd's 
Bush, but also that which branches off to the 
north and north-east in the direction of the Grove 
of Westbourne. What rural ideas and pictures 
arise before our me-ntal eye as we mention Notting 
— possibly Nutting — Hill, and the Shepherd's Bush 

and Westbourne Grove ! We fear that the nuts, and 
the shepherds, and the nightingales which, so lately 
as the reign of William IV., sang sweetly here in the 
summer nights, are now, each and all, things of 
the past. 

Notting Hill is said to derive its name from a 
manor in Kensington called " Knotting-Bernes," 
or " Knutting-Barnes," sometimes written " Not- 
ting," or " Nutting-barns " — so, at least, writes 
Lysons, in his "Environs of London." He adds 
that the property belonged formerly to the De 
Veres, Earls of Oxford (which would naturally be 
the case, as it formed part of Kensington parish 
and manor); and subsequently to Lord Burleigh, 
who, as we have already seen, lived at Brompton 
Hall, not very far from the neighbourhood of 
Kensington. In Robins' " History of Paddington," 
we read that the " manor of Noting barons, alias 
Kensington, then * Nutting Barns,' afterwards called 



[Netting Hill. 

' Knotting-barn-s,' in Stockdale's new map of the 
country round London, 1790; ' Knolton Barn/ 
now ' Notting-barns,' was carved out of the original 
manor of ' Chenesitun.' " From an inquisition 
taken at Westminster, in the reign of Henry VIIL, 
it appears that "the manor called Notingbarons, 
alias Kensington, in the parish of Paddington, was 
held of the Abbot of Westminster as of his manor 
of Paddington by fealty and twenty-two shillings 
rent;" but since the time of the Reformation 
" Notting-barns " seems to have been considered a 
part of Kensington. Notting Barns Manor was 
held successively by the De Veres, and by Robert 
Fenroper, Alderman of London, who exchanged 
with King Henry VIIL It was afterwards granted 
to Pawlet, Earl of Wiltshire, from whom it passed 
to Lord Burghley. The manor was next held by 
the Copes, Andersons, and Darbys, and in 1820 it 
was owned by Sir William Talbot. Down to a 
very recent period, much of the district through 
which we are about to pass bore rather a bad 
character for thieves and housebreakers, and was 
somewhat noted for its piggeries and potteries; but 
these have all been swept away by the advancing 
tide of bricks and mortar. The "potteries" are 
still kept in remembrance by Pottery Lane, in 
which is the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis 
of Assisi, referred to in a previous chapter. The 
ground about Notting Hill lies high, and the soil 
is a stiff clay, while that of Kensington proper 
is chiefly sand and gravel ; but in reality, Notting 
Hill forms part and parcel of Kensington itself, 
which stretches away some distance northward in 
the direction of Kensal Green. "The principal 
street," writes Faulkner, in 1820, "runs along the 
high road for about three furlongs. The village 
enjoys an excellent air and beautiful prospects on 
the north, and lying in the direct road for Uxbridge 
and Oxford, it is enlivened every hour by the 
passage of mail-coaches, stages, and wagons." 

The neighbourhood has become, of late years, 
a favourite residence for artists and sculptors, 
among whom may be reckoned Mr. J. Philip, Mr. 
Watts, Mr. Holman Hunt, and also Mr. WiUiam 
Theed. On either side of a narrow lane leading 
from Campden Hill towards Holland House is a 
nest of mansions, each standing in its own grounds, 
known as the " Dukery." Among its present and 
late occupants are the Dukes of Argyll and Rut- 
land, the Dowager Duchess of Bedford, and Lords 
Airlie and Macaulay. 

Cornelius Wood, a celebrated soldier of fortune, 
characterised in the Tatler under the name of 
" Silvio," died herein 1711. As in most of the 
suburbs of London which lay along the main roads, 

so here the various inns and taverns would appear 
to have shown by their signs a tendency to the 
sports of the road, for within a short distance we find 
"The Black Lion," "The Swan," "The Feathers," 
"The Nag's Head," "The Horse and Groom," and 
"The Coach and Horses," many of which, no doubt, 
were, half a century ago, the resorts of highway- 
men when they had done a little bit of business on 
the Uxbridge or the Harrow Road, and which, if 
their mute walls could speak, might tell many a 
tale of coaches robbed, and the plunder shared 
between the " knights of the road " and obliging 

The parish extends along the Uxbridge Road as 
far as Shepherd's Bush. On the left of the road 
was a piece of waste ground, known till recently as 
" Gallows Close," so called from the fact of two men 
having been executed here for a highway robbery 
in 1748. The gallows, or part of it, remained till 
about 1800. The ancient highway from London 
to Turnham Green is said by Faulkner, in his 
"History of Kensington" (1820), to have passed 
by Tyburn to the Gravel Pits, and to have branched 
off to the left at Shepherd's Bush, through a field, 
at the western extremity of which (he adds) the road 
is still visible, though now entirely impassable 
from the overhanging branches of the trees on both 
sides of the road, and from having become a deep 
slough in the neighbourhood of Pallenswick Green. 
This was the road where the Earl of Holland drew 
up his forces previous to the Battle of Brentford, as 
related in " Clarendon's History of the Rebellion." 
But we must not travel too far afield. 

We have already spoken of Kensington Gravel 
Pits. This must be understood as a vague name 
for an undefined district, lying partly to the north 
and partly to the south of the Uxbridge Road ; 
indeed, the greater part was on the north side : this 
is evident from the fact that the house belonging 
to Lord Craven, at Craven Hill, which was bor- 
rowed by Queen Anne as a nursery for her children, 
is mentioned by contemporary writers as being 
" situated at Kensington Gravel Pits." Several 
local tradesmen's tokens, dated in 1660-70, at the 
Gravel Pits, are engraved by Faulkner. Since the 
disappearance of the actual gravel pits, their name 
seems to have been superseded by the joint in- 
fluence of the new streets on Notting Hill and in 
Bayswater. Leigh Hunt, in his "Old Court Suburb," 
says : — " Readers may call to mind a remnant of 
one of the pits, existing but a few years ago, to the 
north of the Palace in Kensington Gardens, and 
adding greatly to their picturesque look thereabouts. 
A pleasant poetical tradition was connected with it, 
of which we shall have something further to say. 

Netting Hill.] 



Now, the Gravel Pits were the fashionable suburb 
resort of invalids, from the times of William and 
Anne to the close of the last century. Their 
' country air,' as it was called, seems to have been 
preferred, not only to that of Essex, but to that 
of Kent. Garth, in his 'Dispensary,' makes an 
apothecary say that sooner than a change shall 
take place, from making the poor pay for medicine 
to giving it them gratis — 

" 'Alps shall sink to vales, 
And leeches in our glasses turn to whales ; 
Alleys at Wapping furnish us with new modes, 
And Monmouth Street Versailles' riding hoods ; 1 

The rich to th' Hundreds in pale crowds repair, I 

And change " the Gravel Pits " for Kentish air.' " 

The spot, in fact, has long been held in high repute I 
for the salubrity of the air, and in the last generation ' 
it had become a noted place for the residence of 
artists. The neighbourhood, too, has long been , 
a favourite haunt and home of laundresses ; and | 
no wonder, for Faulkner, in his " History of Ken- \ 
sington," speaks of an overflowing spring on the 
Norland House Estate as " peculiarly soft, and 
adapted to washing," the same water being " leased ■ 
to three persons, who pay each seven shillings a 
week for it, and retail it about the neighbourhood j 
at a halfpenny a pail." 

These were really gravel pits half a century ago, ; 
and the inequality of the surface bore testimony to 
the fact. Sir A. Calcott's house was in a hollow, 
artificially made, and his garden was commanded 
from above by that of his next-door neighbour, Mr. 
Thomas Webster, then a rising artist, but who re- | 
tired from the Royal Academy in 1S76. Faulkner 
thus writes in his " History of Kensington," pub- 
lished in 1S20 : — "The valley on the north is laid 
down with grass, and the whole of this district 
appears to have undergone but little alteration, in 
respect to culture and division of the land, for 
several ages. Although the distance from London 
is scarcely three miles, yet the traveller might 
imagine himself to be embosomed in the most 
sequestered parts of the country, for nothing is 
heard to interrupt the course of his meditations 
but the notes of the lark, the linnet, or the nightin- 
gale. In the midst of these meadows stands the 
Manor House of Notting Bams, now occupied by 
William Smith, Esq., of Hammersmith. It is an 
ancient brick building, surrounded by spacious 
barns and other out-houses ; the public road to 
Kensal Green passes through the farm-yard." How 
altered the appearance of the neighbourhood at the 
end of half a century ! 

It is much to be lamented by the lovers ofj 
rural scenery that here, as indeed on every side of 

London, acres which, only half a century ago, were 
still nursery-grounds and market-gardens, have been 
forced to give place to railways and their approaches, 
and to the building of suburban towns. To use 
the words of a %vriter in the Cornhill Magazine in 
1866: — "The growth of London has gradually 
pushed the market-gardener into the country; and 
now, instead of sending up his produce by his own 
wagon, he trusts it to the railway, and is often 
thrown into a market fever by a late delivery. To 
compensate him, however, for the altered state of the 
times, he often sells his crops, like a merchant upon 
'Change, without the trouble of bringing more than 
a few hand-samples in his pockets. He is nearly 
seventy years of age, though he looks scarce fifty, 
and can remember the time when there were 
10,000 acres of ground under cultivation for vege- 
tables within four miles of Charing Cross, besides 
about 3,000 more acres planted with fruit to supply 
the London consumption. He has lived to see the 
Deptford and Bermondsey gardens sadly curtailed ; 
the Hoxton and Hackney gardens covered with 
houses ; the Essex plantations pushed further off; 
and the Brompton and Kensington nurseries — the 
home of vegetables for centuries — dug up, and sown 
with International Exhibition temples, and Italian 
Gardens, that will never grow a pea or send a single 
cauliflower to market. He has lived to see Guernsey 
and Jersey, Cornwall, the Scilly Isles, Holland, 
Belgium, and even Portugal, with many other still 
more distant places, competing with the remote out- 
skirts of London, and has been staggered by seeing 
the market supplied with choice early peas from 
such an unexpected quarter as French Algeria." 

Building operations would seem to have com- 
menced about this neighbourhood, on either side 
of the main road, in the early part of the present 
centur}'. Much later, about the year 1857, a 
portion of the north margin of Holland Park, 
abutting upon the roadway, and extending from 
Holland Lane to Addison Road, was cut off and 
laid out for building purposes, and two rows of 
mansions, with large gardens before them, have 
been erected. 

Close by, on the top of Campden Hill, but 
separated from the main road by Notting Hill 
Square and Grove, are the reservoirs and engine- 
house of the Grand Junction Waterworks Company. 
The chief works in connection with this company 
are situated on the north bank of the Thames, a 
little above Kew Bridge. The water is taken by a 
large conduit pipe from the middle of the river to 
the works on the shore, where it is pumped into 
filtering reservoirs, Sec, and then supplied to the 
town. In connection with the works at Kew is 


[Netting Hill. 

a Stand-pipe, upwards of 200 feet in height, by 
which the water is conveyed through the main 
pipes into the districts to be suppUed. The main 
which brings the water to Campden Hill is between 
six and seven miles in length, and the reservoir 
here is c^apable of containing 6,000,000 gallons. 
The tall brick shaft of the works here forms a 
conspicuous object on every side of 
Netting Hill. In 181 1 a company 
was formed, who availed themscUes of 
the powers granted by a clause in the 
Grand Junction Canal Com]Dany s Act, 
for supplying water brought by the 
canal from the rivers Colne and Bient, 
and from a large reservoir supplied by 
land drainage in the north-westein 
part of Middlesex. These m atei-i ^^ ere 
represented to , -^.y?. 

called Tower Crecy, erected by Mr. Page, the 
architect of Westminster Bridge, in honour of the 
Black Prince, whose emblems adorn the exterior in 
all its stages. It is said that the holder of the 
lease of the house is bound to hoist on its summit 
a flag on the anniversary of the Battle of Crecy. 
Between Holland Park and the Waterworks are 

be much superior to that of the Thames; but 
experience disappointed the hopes of the pro- 
jectors : the water was found not only to be 
bad in quality, but deficient in quantity also ; and 
after various vain expedients to remedy the evils, 
the company, which had taken the name of the 
" Grand Junction Waterworks Company," resorted 
to the Thames, taking their supply from a point 
near Chelsea Hospital. Adjoining the Waterworks 
is a lofty castellated building in die Gothic style, 

some detached mansions — Aubrey House and 
others. One of these was the site of some medi- 
cinal wells which were of repute in the last century. 
On the north side of Notting Hill is Ladbroke 
Square — so called after the name of the family 
who took it on a building lease — and which, for 
style in the houses and the general appearance of 
the central enclosure, falls but little short of some 
of the more aristocratic squares of the West-end. 
The west end of the Square is crossed by Ladbroke 
Grove, which extends northward as far as Kensal 
New Town. On the north side of the Square are 
Kensington Park Gardens, a name given to a 

Netting Hill.] 



goodly row of houses overlooking the Square. The 
handsome modern Gothic, or Early English, church 
of St. John, not far off, in Lansdowne Crescent, 
dates from the year 1845. It is cruciform in plan, 
with an elegant spire rising from the intersection 
of the nave and chancel. This church stands on 
what was " dotting Hill Farm," when Faulkner 
wrote in 1820, a lonely hill commanding extensive 
views, owing to the absence of woods. 

erected about 1815, called St, Petersburg Place, 
Moscow Road, Coburg Place, &c. These names 
commemorate the visit of the Allied Sovereigns, 
in 1 8 14. In the centre of Petersburg Place, Mr. 
Orme erected in 18 18 a private chapel, to serve as 
a chapel of ease to Paddington. It appears to 
have been the first private speculation of the kind 
in the suburbs, and not to have been built till the 
growth of the population rendered it necessar}\ 




Norland Square perpetuates the name of Nor- 
land House, a small but well-wooded estate, which, 
in the reign of William IV., belonged to one of 
the Drummonds, the bankers, of Charing Cross. 
Many of the new streets about Netting Hill were 
built between the years 1850 and i860. 

Orme Square, which abuts upon the Uxbridge 
Road, overlooking Kensington Gardens, is named 
after a Mr. Orme, formerly a printseller in Bond 
Street, who purchased a considerable space of 
ground lying to the west of Craven Hill, upon 
which the Square is built. Bayswater House, an 
isolated mansion in the Bayswater Road, between 
Lancaster Gate and Orme Square, was the resi- 
dence of Fauntleroy, the forger. A new range of 
buildings, to the north-east of Orme Square, was 

Much of the ground about this neighbourhood, 
before it was cut up into streets, terraces, crescents, 
(Sic — indeed, as lately as the time when Queen 
Victoria ascended the throne — was the scene of 
an establishment which enjoyed some popularity 
while it lasted — namely, the Hippodrome ; but so 
brief is fame, that although it was flourishing at 
the above period, it had become almost forgotten 
after a lapse of twenty years, and its site clean 
blotted out. For much of the following sketch of 
the Hippodrome in all its novelty and pride, we 
are indebted to the Sporting- Magazine for 1837 : — 
" Making the cours aristocratiqtie of Routine {alias 
Rotten) Row, you pass out at Cumberland Gate, 
and then trot on to Bayswater. Thence you arrive 
at the Kensington Gravel Pits, and descending 




where on the left stands the terrace of Notting 
Hill, find opposite the large wooden gates of a 
recent structure. Entering these, I was by no 
means prepared for what opened upon me. Here, 
without figure of speech, was the most perfect race- 
course that I had ever seen. Conceive, almost 
within tlie bills of mortality, an enclosure some 
two miles and a half in circuit, commanding from 
its centre a view as spacious and enchanting as 
that from Richmond Hill (?), and where almost 
the only thing that you can 7iot see is London. 
Around this, on the extreme circle, next to the 
lofty fence by which it is protected, .... is con- 
structed, or rather laid out — for the leaps are 
natural fences — the steeplechase course of two 
miles and a quarter. Within this, divided by a 
slight trench, and from the space appropriated to 
carriages and equestrians by strong and handsome 
posts all the way round, is the race-couise, less 
probably than a furlong in circuit. Then comes 
the enclosure for tliose who ride or drive as afore- 
said ; and lastly, the middle, occupied by a hill, 
from which every yard of the running is com- 
manded, besides miles of country on every side 
beyond it, and exclusively reserved for foot people. 
I could hardly credit what I saw. Here was, 
almost at our doors, a racing emporium more 
extensive and attractive than Ascot or Epsom, 
with ten times the accommodation of either, and 
where carriages are charged for admission at three- 
fourths less. This great national undertaking is 
the sole result of individual enterprise, being 
effected by the industry and liberality of a gentle- 
man by the name of Whyte. . . . This is an 
enterprise which must prosper; it is without a 
competitor, and it is open to the fertilization of 
many sources of profit. As a site for horse 
exercise, can any riding-house compare with it ? 
For females, it is without the danger or exposure 
of the parks ; as a training-ground for the turf or 
the field it cannot be exceeded ; and its character 
cannot be better summed up than by describing 
it as a necessary of London life, of the absolute 
need of which we were not aware until the posses- 
sion of it taught us its permanent value." 

The earliest mention of the Hippodrome in the 
Racing Calendar is to be found in the volume for 
1837, when two races were run, the one for fifty 
and the other for a hundred sovereigns — three 
horses starting for one, and four for the other. 

" At the close of the reign of William IV.," says 
Mr. Blaine, in his " Rural Sports," " an attempt 
was made to establish a regular series of race meet- 
ings, and also a training locality within two miles 
of the metropolis. To this intent a large portion of 

land was treated for and engaged close to Notting 
Hill. Here were erected stabling and boxes for about 
seventy-five race-horses, with every convenience for 
a training establishment ; a very good race-course 
also was formed, and numerous stakes were run for 
on it in 1838. But, unfortunately, the proprietors 
overlooked one circumstance at once fatal to the 
Hippodrome, as the establishment was named : the 
soil was a deep, strong clay, so that the training- 
ground could be used by horses only at particular 
periods of the year. This was a difficulty not to 
be got over, and as a race-course the Hippodrome 
soon closed its short career, doubtless with a heavy 
loss to the proprietors." 

It would appear, from other channels of sporting 
information, that the first public day was given on 
Saturday, the 3rd of June, 1837, and that it naturally 
drew together as brilliant an assembly as ever met 
together in London. " On account of its vicinity 
to town, every refreshment was provided at a rate 
for which those who had been used to the terrible 
extortions elsewhere would hardly have been pre- 
pared. Splendid equipages occupied the circle 
allotted to them, while gay marquees, with all their 
flaunting accompaniments, covered the hall, filled 
with all the good things of this life, and iced 
champagne, which can hardly be called a mortal 
beverage. The racing was for plates of fifty and 
100 sovereigns, with moderate entrances, given by 
the proprietors. The ;^ioo plate was won by Mr. 
Wickham's ' Pincher,' and the steeplechase by Mr. 
Elmore's ' Lottery,' ridden by Mason. There was a 
second meeting ap;>ointed for Monday and Tues- 
day, the 19th and 20th of the same month, but the 
former day alone ' came off,' the other day's racing 
being postponed on account of the death of King 

A writer in the Sporting Magazine, who signs 
himself " Juan," remarks : — " As a place of fashion- 
able resort, it certainly -opened under promising 
auspices, the stewards being Lord Chesterfield and 
Count D'Orsay. Another year, I cannot doubt, is 
destined to see it rank among the most favourite 
and favoured of all the metropolitan rendezvous, 
both for public and for private recreation. LTn- 
questi'onably, of the varieties of the present season 
none has put forward such a claim to popularity 
and patronage as the ' Hippodrome.' " But the 
defect, which we have already mentioned, in the 
subsoil was irremediable ; and after four years of a 
very chequered and struggling career, its last public 
meeting was held in June, 1841. At this date the 
land along its southern and eastern sides was be- 
ginning to be in demand for building purposes, and 
so pieces were sliced off" to form those streets and 




thoroughfares which lie to the north of Westbourne 
Grove and south of the Great Western Railway. A 
large portion of the riding ground, however, was 
still kept laid down in turf — rather of a coarse kind, 
it must be owned ; and some hedges were pre- 
served, over which dashing young ladies would ride 
their chargers as lately as the year 1852. But in 
the course of the next five or six years the green 
sward, and the green trees, and the green hedges 
were all swept away, and on the spot selected by \ 
the " Di Vernons " and " pretty horse-breakers " for 
their trial-jumps now stands St. Stephen's Church. 

Portobello Farm was marked in the maps of the 
neighbourhood as lately as 1830 : it was named 
by its then owner at the time of the capture of that 
city by Admiral Vernon. It then stood in the 
midst of open fields, in which the cows and sheep 
grazed and pigs were fed. In what is now Porto- 
bello Road, skirting the eastern end of Ladbroke 
Square, stands a convent of the Little Sisters of 
the Poor. The "sisters" themselves feed off the 
scraps left by the paupers whom they support by 
going round to the doors of London houses for 
broken victuals. Upwards of a hundred poor per- 
sons are daily supported by the " sisters " in this 
benevolent manner. The head-quarters of this 
charity are at Hammersmith, where the chief insti- 
tution will be described in its proper place. There 
was a pretty walk this way across to Kensal Green 
till about 1850-60. 

The splendid new town of Bayswater, close by, 
which has joined North Kensington and Shepherd's 
Bush on to London, had no existence during the 
first few years of Queen Victoria, when " Hop- 
wood's Nursery Ground " and the Victoria Gardens 
— so famed for running-matches and other sporting 
meetings — faced the dull brick wall which effectually 
shut out the green glades and leafy avenues of 
Kensington Gardens from the view of passengers 
along the Bayswater Road. Bayswater is a vague 
name for the district extending from the Gravel 
Pits to the north-west corner of Hyde Park. Lord 
Chesterfield, in one of his poems, has praised the 
healthiness of the situation, though, probably, he 
was too fond of the town to walk often so far in the 
direction of the open country. The whole district of 
streets, squares, terraces, and crescents sprung into 
existence in the course of about ten years — between 
1839 and 1849. Bayswater was noted of old for 
its springs, reservoirs, and conduits, supplying the 
greater part of the City of London with water. 
With regard to the origin of the name of Bays- 
water, the following particulars from thg disclosures 
made in a trial at Westminster, as summarised by 
a writer in the first volume of JVofes and Qiteries, 

help to elucidate the question : — " The Dean and 
Chapter of Westminster are possessed of the manor 
of Westbourne Green, in the parish of Paddington, 
parcel of the possessions of the extinct Abbey of 
Westminster. It must have belonged to the Abbey 
when Doj7iesday was compiled ; for, although 
neither Westbourne nor Knightsbridge (also a 
manor of the same house) is specially named in 
that survey, yet we know, from a later record of 
the time of Edward I., that both of those manors 
were members, or constituent hamlets, of the ville 
of Westminster, which is mentioned in Domesday 
among the lands of the Abbey. The most con- 
siderable tenant under the abbot in this ville was 
Bainiardus, probably the same Norman associate 
of the Conqueror who is called Baignardus and 
Bainardus in other parts of the survey, and who 
gave his name to Baynard's Castle. The descent 
of the land held by him under the abbot cannot be 
clearly traced, but his name long remained attached 
to part of it; and as late as the year 1653 a par- 
liamentary grant of the Abbey or Chapter lands 
to Foxcrafte and another, describes ' the common 
field at Paddington ' as being ' near to a place 
commonly called Bayiiard's Watering.' In 1720, 
the lands of the Dean and Chapter in the same 
common field are described, in a terrier of the 
Chapter, to be in the occupation of Alexander 
Bond, oi Bear's Waterifig, in the same parish of 
Paddington. The common field referred to is the 
well-known piece of garden-ground lying between 
Craven Hill and the Uxbridge Road, called also 
Bayswater Field. V\e may, therefore, fairly con- 
clude that this portion of ground, always remarkable 
for its springs of excellent water, once supplied 
water to Baynard, his household, or his cattle ; that 
the memory of his name was preserved in the 
neighbourhood for six centuries ; and that his 
' watering-place ' now figures on the outside of 
certain omnibuses, in the streets of London, under 
the modern name of ' Bayswater.' " 

The running streams and gravelly soil of this 
neighbourhood were at one time highly favourable 
for the growth of watercress, of which, as lately as 
the year 1825, there were several cultivators here, 
as in other places in the vicinity of London. The 
cultivation of watercress is said to have been first 
attempted, at the commencement of the present 
century, by a Mr. Bradbury, near Gravesend. 
Gerarde, the herbalist, says that eating watercresses 
restores the "wonted bloom to the cheeks of young 
ladies." Perhaps that is one reason why that plant 
is so popular. 

On a slanting grassy bank, about a hundred 
yards from the back of the line of dwelling-houses 

1 84 



now bearing the name of Craven Hill, stood, down 
to about the year 1820, an ancient stone-built 
conduit-house, whence the water-supply was con- 
veyed by pipes underground into the City, Con- 
duit Passage and Spring Street, both near at hand, 
thence derive their designation. The conduit was 
constructed and kept up by the Corporation of 
London, " to preserve a large spring of pure water, 
which rose at the spot, and was formerly conveyed 
by leaden pipes (cast in Holland) to Cheapside 
and Cornhill." " It was," says a writer in the 
City Press, " ouq of the most ancient springs in 
the vicinity of London, and, being situate in a 
manor once belonging to the Sanford family, and 
subsequently to the Earl of Craven, was granted 
to the citizens by one Gilbert Sanford in the 
twenty-first year of the reign of Henry IIL, a.d. 
1236." Some reference is made to it in Lysons' 
" Environs of London," where it is stated that the 
water, "conveyed by brick drains, supplies the 
houses in and about Bond Street, which stand 
upon the City lands." Lysons further states that 
" the springs at this place lie near the surface, 
and the water is very fine." One of the principal 
reservoirs here, of which the Serpentine received 
the overplus, was situated where Trinity Church 
now stands, at the corner of Gloucester Gardens, 
Bishop's Road, not far from the " Royal Oak " 
tavern. In t\\Q Saturday Magazine iox May i8th, 
1844, there is an illustration of the Conduit-head 
at Bayswater, and in the article which accompanies 
it, the writer thus observes : — " The sources of the 
various conduits of London, formerly kept with so 
much care, have for the most part entirely dis- 
appeared. That at Paddington, however, still 
exists, though probably not in its original form ; 
and Mr. Matthews says that, up to a recent period, 
it afforded a plentiful supply of water to some 
houses in Oxford Street. The conduit, or spring, 
is situate in a garden about half a mile to the west 
of the Edgware Road, and at the same distance 
from Bayswater, within two hundred or three 
hundred yards of the Grand Junction Water Com- 
pany's reservoirs. It is covered by a circular 
building in good condition, and some of the pipes 
continue in a sound state, although several cen- 
turies have elapsed since they were laid down. 
From the same source, about a century ago, the 
palace at Kensington received a part of its supply, 
which was effected by the aid of a water-wheel 
placed at Bayswater Bridge ; but on the establish- 
ment of the Chelsea Waterworks, it became useless, 
and was removed." 

There is also in the illustrated edition of Pen- 
nant's " London," in the British Museum, a print 

of this conduit as it appeared in the year 1798, 
of which a copy is given on page i86. The 
aqueduct itself was " round, and cased thick with 
stone, and in the upper spiral part they lapped 
over each other, tile-like, and were fastened to- 
gether with iron cramps to the brickwork, thick 
within. It was of a regular circumference, from 
the pediment or base about eight feet, and then 
spread up to the point, and was capped with a 
ball. Its height, about twenty feet, had four air- 
lets, resembling windows, with a door next the 
garden, plated with iron plates, over which, in 
an oblong square, was cut, 'rep. anno 1632'; 
in another part were the City arms, v/ith the date, 
1782." The water, we are told, was constantly 
issuing from under the door, through a wooden 
pipe, at the rate of thirty gallons an hour, and 
took its course under the bridge into Kensington 
Gardens. When this water was let to the pro- 
prietors of Chelsea Waterworks, a stipulation was 
made that the basin therein should be kept full. 
This spring also supplied the basin in Hyde 
Park, whence, as we have already seen, it was con- 
veyed by a water-wheel, " at Hyde Park wall, 
near Knightsbridge chapel," on to the Thames at 
Pimlico. It also took a subterraneous course into 
the City, " whose name and arms it bore," and 
whose property it was, and to whom now, no 
doubt, the land belongs all round about where- 
upon it was built. The water-course to the City 
was formerly denoted by stones above ground, laid 
along through the fields; and in the burying-ground 
of St. George, Hanover Square, which abuts upon 
the Bayswater Road, was once a brick well and 
several stones, marked with the City arms, and the 
date of 1773. There was also a well against the 
shop, 254, Oxford Street, with the City arms, 
inscribed " 1772." In the centre of the " conduit- 
field" there was a very curious antique stone, 
much mutilated, which pointed out the rise of the 
spring. There were also two other mark-stones, 
almost hid in the earth, near to the conduit. When 
the Craven Hill estate was parcelled out for build- 
ing purposes, the stone conduit-house was pulled 
downjj. and the stream was led either into the main 
sewer or into the river Serpentine, which rises 
much farther up in a north-easterly direction, and 
now rushes, occasionally with great impetus, under 
the centre of the roadway in Kensington Garden 
Terrace, and, crossing the Bayswater Road, enters 
Kensington Gardens where the fountains are. 

Apropos of the ancient streams in this locality, 
it may be added that it is said there was in the 
olden days very good fishing in the trout stream 
which ran from Netting Hill Manor towards Hay 




Hill, Berkeley Square, taking its course through 
Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, which was built 
on the high banks of the said stream, where it 
ceased to blend with the Tye. We know that as 
early as the reign of Henry III. there were six 
fountains in this locality from which water was 
supplied to the City by means of pipes. 

In Lambert's " London and its Environs," pub- 
lished in 1S05, we read : — " Bayswater is a hamlet 
to Paddington, about a mile from London, on the 
U.xbridge Road. Its public tea-gardens formerly 
belonged to the celebrated Sir John Hill, who 
here cultivated the medicinal plants from which 
he prepared his essences, tinctures, &:c." Sir John 
Hill was the son of a clergyman, bom about 1716, 
and bred as an apothecary. He was employed 
by Lord Petre and the Duke of Richmond in the 
arrangement of their botanic gardens in Essex 
and Sussex ; and by their assistance he executed 
a scheme of travelling over several parts of the 
kingdom, to collect the most rare plants, accounts 
of which he published by subscription. But this 
proved a failure, and showed that he was in ad- 
vance of his time. Ilis "Vegetable System" 
extends over twenty-six .'jlio volumes ! and for this 
he was rewarded by a Swedish order of knight- 
hood from the king of that country. It appears 
that, for a time at least. Sir John Hill, though little 
better than a charlatan and an empiric, enjoyed 
the reputation of a great and learned botanist. He 
was at one time a second-rate actor, and he made 
an unsuccessful attempt to obtain admission into 
the Royal Society. Garrick's epigram on him is 
well known, and has often been quoted : — 

" For physic and farces his equal there scarce is ; 
His farces are physic ; his physic a farce is." 

Amon^' the medicines produced by Sir John Hill 
were his " Water-dock Essence " and his " Balm 
of Honey.'"' These gardens are now covered by 
the long range of mansions called Lancaster Gate. 
They were originally known as the "Physic Garden," 
and were opened as a place of amusement towards 
the close of the last centurJ^ They were still in 
existence as gardens as late as 1854, though no 
longer frequented by pleasure-seekers of the upper 
classes. It is not a little singular that the gardens 
at Bayswater are not even mentioned by name, in 
the article on "Old Suburban Tea Gardens,'" in 
Chambers' " Book of Days." Faulkner, -\\Titing in 
1820, says that within the last few years Bayswater 
has increased to a " popular neighbourhood." 

Craven House, which gave its name to Craven 
Hill, above mentioned, became the residence of 
Lord Craven's family some time before 1700, on 
their removal from Drury Lane. It was borrov/ed | 

(as stated above) by Queen Anne, as a nursery for 
her son, the Httle Duke of Gloucester, before she 
engaged Campden House, where we have already 
seen her. 

Craven Hill is now called Craven Road, the 
inequality of it having been levelled by filling up 
the low ground where a small brook once crossed 
it from north to south. The houses in Craven 
Road and Craven Hill Gardens stand on the site 
of a field which was given about the year 1720 in 
exchange for the " Pest-field," near Golden Square, 
already mentioned ; and it may be the reverse of 
comforting to the inhabitants to know that, under 
an old agreement between Lord Craven and the 
parochial authorities, the plot of ground in ques- 
tion may be taken for the purpose of a burial- 
ground, in case London should ever again be visited 
with the plague ; unless, indeed, this liability has 
been done away with by the Act which enforces 
extra-mural interments. This land was not used 
during the cholera of 1849; ^"d at the present 
time, as we have shown above, a grand London 
square, called Craven Gardens, alone indicates the 
site of the Pest-house fields. The property, which 
belonged in former times to one 'Jane L^pton, and 
was called Upton Farm, was purchased by the 
trustees of this charity-estate for;^i,57o. 

In 182 1 the Toxophilite Society rented about 
four acres of ground here, between Sussex Gardens 
and the Bayswater Road, just opposite the point 
where Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens meet ; 
they formed then part of quite a rural district, the 
ground shelving down somewhat steeply on the 
west to a little brook. A pavilion was erected 
here for the use of the members, and we are told 
that " there was space for three pairs of targets, 
with a range of about 200 yards." The Society 
held these grounds until 1834, when they removed 
to their present gardens in the Regent's Park. 
The exact site of these grounds is preserved in the 
name of the Archery Tavern in Bathurst Street, 
leading to Sussex Square. 

In the fields a little to the north of Craven Hill, 
towards Westbourne Green, was the cottage (see 
page 147) where the Princess of Wales used to 
throw off the restraints of royal etiquette in the 
company of her intimate friends. 

The district lying between Kensington Gardens 
and Paddington, a little to the north of Bayswater, 
was kno\\Ti, till the reign of George IV., as West- 
bourne Green, and was quite a leafy retreat at the 
time of that king's accession. That portion of the 
district lying to the north of Westbourne Grove 
and Bishop's Road will be best dealt with in our 
chapter on Paddington ; but with regard to West- 




bourne Gro\'e itself, we may state that, as lately as 
1852, this thoroughfare, which now consists almost 
entirely of attractive shops, was a quiet street, con- 
sisting of detached cottages, with gardens in front. 
At the end nearest Paddington was an open nursery 
garden, rich in dahlias, geraniums, &:c. 

Oxford Square and Norfolk Square, may be 
rapidly passed over. Each and all of these places 
can boast of goodly mansions, interspersed with 
gardens and enclosures filled with trees and shrubs ; 
but the whole district is of too modern growth to 
have a history. 

nil': BAVSWATER CONDUIT IN 1 798. {FruVl I einuutt.) 

Westbourne Terrace, which unites Bishop's Road 
with Craven Road, is so called from the West 
Bourne, a small brook running from Kilburn 
between Paddington and Bayswater, and passing 
into the Serpentine. It was built in 1847-52. 

Sussex Gardens and Sussex Square, Pembridge 
Square and Crescent, Talbot and Leinster Squares, 
Hyde Park Gardens and Hyde Park Square, Cleve- 
land Square and T^ueen's Road and Gardens, 

Southwick Crescent and Place are named after 
Southwick Park, Hampshire, the property of the 
Thistlethwayte family, formerly joint-lessees of the 
Paddington Manor. 

Li Gloucester Square, Westbourne Terrace, at 
No. II, lived John Sadleir, the fraudulent M.P., 
who committed suicide on Plampstead Heath in 
February, 1856, 

A splendid new city of palaces, Lancaster GaLC, 







&c., sprung up between i860 and 1870, on the site 
of Hopwood's Nursery Grounds and the Victoria 
Tea Gardens, which we have mentioned above. 

About the year 1861, we may here remark, a 
novelty, in the way of street railways, was intro- 
duced in the Bayswater Road, by Mr. George F. 
Train, who was at least the pioneer of a useful 
invention. Permission had been given by the 
Commissioners of Highways for Mr. Train to lay 
down the rails for his new conveyance, and the 
event was inaugurated by a public banquet at St. 
James's Hall. Notwithstanding the coldness with 
which the project was at first received, the plan 
has since been carried out in various parts of 
London in the tramways. 

In the autumn of 1832, when the cholera was 
spreading death far and wide throughout the land, 
Dr. Adam Clarke, the author of a well-known 
Commentary on the Bible, here fell a victim to 
that fatal malady. He was engaged to preach at 
Bayswater on Sunday, the 26th of August, and on 
the Saturday before he was conveyed there in a 
friend's chaise. He was cheerful on the road, 
but was tired with his journey and listless in the 
evening ; and when a gentleman asked him to 
preach a charity sermon for him and fix the day, 
he replied, " I am not well ; I cannot fix a time ; 
I must first see what God is about to do with 
me." He retired to bed early, not without some 
of those symptoms that indicated the approach of 
this awful disease, but which do not appear to 
have excited any suspicions in himself or in his 
friends. He rose in the morning ill, and wanting 
to get home ; but before arrangements could be 
made for his removal, he had sunk into his chair 
— that icy coldness, by which the complaint is 

characterised, had come on, and when the medical 
men arrived, they pronounced it a clear case of 
cholera. His wife and most of his children, short 
as the summons was, gathered about him — he had 
ever been the most affectionate of husbands and 
parents — and his looks indicated great satisfaction 
when he saw them ; but he was now nearly speech- 
less. " Am I blue ? " however, he said to his 
son — a question indicating his knowledge of the 
malady under which he was sinking ; and without 
any eftbrt of nature to rally, he breathed his last. 

On the north side of the Bayswater Road, about 
a quarter of a mile from the site of Tyburn Turn- 
pike, is a dreary burial-ground, of about an acre, 
with a chapel of the plainest description, belong- 
ing to the parish of St. George, Hanover Square. 
In this burial-ground was deposited, in 1768, the 
body of Laurence Sterne, the author of " Tristram 
Shandy," who had died in poverty at his lodgings 
in Bond Street, as we have already stated. But 
the body was afterwards taken up by some of the 
" resurrection men," and sent to Cambridge to the 
professor of anatomy for dissection. Such, at all 
events, is the story told by Sir J. Prior, in his 
" Life of Malone." His grave here is marked by 
a plain upright stone, with an epitaph clumsily 
expressed, "a perpetual memorial of the bad taste 
of his brother masons." 

Among other eminent persons buried here were 
Mr. J. T. Smith, the author of " The Book for a 
Rainy Day," and many other antiquarian works 
on London ; Mrs. Radclifife, the author of " The 
Mysteries of Udolpho ; " and last, not least, 
General Sir Thomas Picton, who fell at Waterloo ; 
but in 1859 his body was removed, and re-interred 
in St. Paul's Cathedral. 


"The three-square stilt at Tyhurn."—0/d Sayifi^-. 

Derivation of the Name of Tyhurn— Earliest Executions on this Spot— Sir Roger BoliMbroke, the Conjuror— Elizabeth Barton, the "Holy Maid of 
Kent"— Execution of Roman Catholics— Morocco Men— Mrs. Turner, the Poisoner, and Inventor of the Yellow Starched Ruffs and Cuffs- 
Resuscitation of a Criminal after Execution— Colonel Blood— Jack Sheppard and Jonathan Wild — Mrs. Catherine Hayes—" Clever Tom 
Clinch"—" Execution Day "—The Execution of Lord Ferrers— The Rev. Mr. Hackman— Dr. Dodd— The Last Act of a Highwayman'.s Life 
— " Sixteen-string Jack "—McLean, the "Fashionable Highwayman"— Claude Duval— John Twyn, an Offending Printer— John Haynes, 
and his Resuscitation after Hanging— Ryland, the Forger— An Unlucky Jest— "Jack Ketch"— Tyburn Tickets— Hogarth's "Tom Idle"— 
The Gallows and its Surroundings— The Story of the Penance of Queen Henrietta Maria— An Anecdote about George III.— The Site of 
Tyburn Tree— The Tyburn Pew-opener— Tyburnia—Connaught Place— The Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Orange— The Residence 
of Mr. T. Assheton-Smith, and of Haydon the Painter. 

TvBURNiA, which of late years has become almost, 
if not quite, as fashionable and aristocratic as 
Belgravia, is the district lying between Edgware 
Road and Westbourne and Gloucester Terrace and 

Craven Hill, the south side of whicli is bounded by 
the Bayswater Road, and may be said to have 
sprung into existence only since the reign of 
William IV. 




The little river Tyburn, or Tybourn, whence the 
district derives its name, consisted of two arms, one 
of which, as already stated, crossed Oxford Street, 
near Stratford Place ; while the other, further to the 
west, followed nearly the course of the present 
Westbourne Terrace and the Serpentine. Five 
hundred years ago, or less, it was a pleasant brook 
enough, with rows of elms growing on its banks. 
These trees were a place of execution in those 
days ; and Roger de Mortimer, the paramour of 
Queen Eleanor, widow of Edward II., was dragged 
thither on a hurdle, and hung and quartered, 
his body being exposed there for several days. 
Elm's Lane, Bayswater, now swept away, preserved 
down to our own time the memory of these fatal 
elms, which are to be regarded as the original 
" Tyburn Trees." It was at a subsequent time 
that the place of execution was removed nearer to 
London, the corner of the Edgware Road. Here 
it became a fixture for centuries ; here many 
notable and many notorious persons have " died 
in their shoes," to use a favourite cant expression. 
Here suffered the " Holy Maid of Kent ; " Mrs. 
Turner, the poisoner, and the inventor of the 
starched ruff which adorns so many portraits of 
fair ladies of other days ; Felton, the assassin of 
the Duke of Buckingham ; a batch of the parlia- 
mentary regicides ; some dozens of Roman Catholic 
priests, condemned as " traitors ; " a long line of 
illustrious highwaymen, such as Jack Sheppard and 
Jonathan Wild ; Lord Ferrers, the murderer of his 
steward ; Dr. Dodd,-for forgery ; and last, not least, 
Mother Brownrigg, the same 

"Who whipped three female 'prentices to death, 
And hid them in the coal-hole." 

An absurd derivation of the name has been 
suggested, as though it was from the words "tie" 
and " bum," though some countenance is given to 
the derivation by the fact that traitors were strung 
or " tied " up first, and afterwards " burnt." But 
the real origin is from the little brook, or bum, 
which ran by the spot, as above mentioned. 

The gallows were removed hither (as we have 
seen) from opposite to St. Giles's Pound ; but there 
liad been occasional executions here earher : for 
instance, it is upon record that Judge Tressilian 
and Nicholas Brembre, or Brambre, were hung 
here in a.d. 1388. Mr. Dobre was at great pains 
to discover the record of an earlier execution here, 
but failed. 

The complete history of the neighbourhood of 
'•Tyburn Tree" has still to be written, though 
the materials are far from scanty ; for between 
the Reformation and the reign of George III,, few 

years elapsed in which Roman Catholic priests, and 
even laymen, were not sent thither to suffer, nomi- 
nally as " traitors," but in reality because they were 
the adherents of a proscribed and persecuted faith, 
and refused, at the bidding of an earthly sovereign, 
to abandon their belief in the Pope as the spiritual 
head of Christendom. Here, too, during the same 
period, almost as many men of a different stamp 
paid the last penalty of the law for violating other 
enactments — highwaymen, robbers, forgers, and mur- 
derers. The highwaymen generally went to the 
scaffold merrily and jauntily, as men who had all 
their lives faced the chance of a violent death, and 
were not afraid to meet it at Tybum. As they 
passed along the streets in the fatal cart, gaily 
dressed in their best clothes, young women in the 
crowd would present them with nosegays, and in 
the eyes of the assembled multitudes their deaths 
were regarded as almost as glorious as those of the 
Roman Catholic " confessors " were esteemed by 
their co-religionists. 

Our readers will not, of course, forget the lines 
in the song of " Macheath," in the Beggars Opera, 
which thus refer to Tyburn : — 

" Since laws were made for every degree. 
To curb vice in others as well as in me, 
I wonder we ha'nt better company 

'Neath Tybum Tree." 

One of the earliest executions on this spot was 
that of " Sir Roger Bolinbroke, the conjuror" (a.d. 
1440), who suffered for high treason, in conjunction 
with the Duchess of Gloucester, as recorded by 
Shakespeare.* From the Harleian MSS., No. 
585, v/e learn his fate in detail. On the same 
day on which he was condemned at Guildhall, he 
was drawn from the Tower to Tyburn, and there 
hanged, beheaded, and quartered, his head being 
set up on London Bridge, and his four quarters 
being disposed of in like manner at Hereford, 
Oxford, York, and Cambridge. 

Here was executed, in the fifteenth century, 
Fisher, a skinner, already mentioned + by us as the 
man who released Sir John Oldcastle when a 
prisoner in the Tower. 

Here, in 1534, were executed Elizabeth Barton, 
the so-called " Holy Maid of Kent," who had 
prophesied the speedy death of Henry VIII. : 
several of her supporters suffered with her. 

Here, too, a few years later, suffered Sir Thomas 
Percy, Askc, D'Arcy, Bigod, Sir John Bulmer, and 
the Abbot of Jewaux, for the share they had taken 
in a foreign pilgrimage and in a last desperate 
effort to restore the Catholic religion in England. 

* See Henry VI., part ii., act i, sc. 2. t See Vol. II., p. 65. 




Tyburn is mentioned Gy Holinshed, who \\Tites of 
a certain " false servant " that, being convicted of 
felony in court of assize, he was judged to be 
hanged, " and so was at Tyburn." 

To enumerate the names of all who suffered the 
"extreme penalty of the law" at Tyburn would be 
a difficult, and, indeed, a needless task. Among 
those who went thither to end their days, however, 
were not only murderers, highwaymen, and traitors, 
but also housebreakers, sheep-stealers, and forgers ; 
the penalty of death, however, was not confined 
to them, but was made to include even some of 
the loose and disreputable hangers-on of the de- 
moralising State lottery-offices, known as " Morocco 
men," for going about the country with red morocco 
pocket-books, in which they entered the names of 
the victims whom they gulled. 

Here was executed Mrs. Turner, the poisoner, 
for complicity with the Countess of Somerset in the 
murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, an event which 
formed one of the episodes in the corrupt reign of 
James I. " Mrs. Turner's execution," says John 
Timbs, in his "Romance of London," "excited 
immense interest. She was a w'oman of great 
beauty, and had much affected the fashion of the 
day. Her sentence was to be ' hang'd at Tiburn 
in her yellow Tinny Ruff and Cuff, she being the 
first inventor and wearer of that horrid garb.' The 
ruff and cuff were got up with yellozv starch, and in 
passing her sentence. Lord Chief Justice Coke told 
her that she had been guilty of all the seven deadly 
sins, and declared that as she was the inventor of the 
yellow-starched ruffs and cuffs, so he hoped that 
she would be the last by whom they would be worn. 
He accordingly ordered that she should be hanged 
in the gear she had made so fashionable. The 
execution attracted an immense crowd to Tyburn, 
and many persons of quality, ladies as well as 
gentlemen, in their coaches. Mrs. Turner had 
dressed herself specially for her execution : her face 
was highly rouged, and she wore a cobweb lawn 
ruff, yellow-starched. An account, printed next 
day, states that ' her hands were bound with a 
black silk ribbon, as she desired ; and a black veil, 
which she wore upon her head, being pulled over 
her face by the executioners, the cart was driven 
away, and she left hanging, in whom there was no 
motion at all perceived.' She made a very penitent 
end. As if to ensure the condemnation of yellow 
starch, the hangman had his hands and cuffs of 
yellow, ' which,' says Sir S. D'Ewes, ' made many 
after that day, of either sex, to forbear the use of 
that coloured starch, till it at last grew generally to 
be detested and disused.' " 

Following in the wake of Mrs. Turner, came 

Southwell, the " sweet versifier ; " Felton, the 
assassin of the Duke of Buckingham ; and John 
Smith, the burglar, of Queen Anne's time. In \ 
connection with this last-named execution, even | 
the gallows may be said to have its romantic side ; 
for we read in Chambers' " Book of Days " that a 
reprieve came after Smith had been suspended for 
a quarter of an hour. He was taken down, bled, 
and revived. 

We have already mentioned Colonel Blood's bold 
attempt to seize the Duke of Ormonde in St. 
James's Street.* He also endeavoured to com- 
plete his act of highway violence by hanging his 
victim by open force at Tyburn ; but, happily for 
the duke, he did not succeed in the attempt. 

We next come to the names of two others who 
have become famous through the agency of cheap 
Hterature — Jack Sheppard, the notorious house- 
breaker, and Jonathan Wild, the " thief and thief- 
taker." Of the early life of the first-named culprit 
we have already spoken in our account of Wych 
Street, St. Clement Danes ; t and for his various 
exploits in Newgate we must refer our readers to 
our account of that prison. | The w'hole career of 
crime as practised by this vagabond carpenter has 
been strikingly told by Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, 
in his romance of "Jack Sheppard ;" and his por- 
trait, as he appeared in the condemned cell at 
Newgate, was painted by Sir James Thornhill, and 
sold by thousands as a mezzo-tint engraving. 
Jonathan Wild's particular sphere of action lay in 
the trade of the restoration of stolen property, 
which he carried on for many years through a 
secret confederacy with all the regular thieves, 
burglars, and highwaymen of the metropolis, whose 
depredations he prompted and directed. His 
success received some check by an Act of Parlia- 
ment passed in 171 7, by which persons convicted 
of receiving or buying goods, knowing them to have 
been stolen, w^ere made liable to a long term of 
transportation. Wild, however, managed to elude 
this new law ; but he was at last convicted, under 
a clause w-hich had been enacted with a particular 
view to Wild's proceedings — such as trafficking in 
stolen g^oods, and dividing the money with felons. 
His execution took place at Tyburn, in May, 1725. 
At his trial he had a printed paper handed to the 
jury, entitled, " A list of persons discovered, appre- 
hended, and convicted of several robberies on the 
highway, and also for burglary and housebreaking, 
and also for returning from transportation : by 
Jonathan Wild." It contained the names of thirty- 
five robbers, twenty-two housebreakers, and ten 

* See Vol. IV., p. 166. t See Vol. III., p. 34. % See Vol. II., p. 459. 




returned convicts, whom he had been instrumental 
in getting hanged before he found the tables turned 
against himself. 

Among the hundreds of murderers hung at 
Tyburn, few were more notorious than Catharine 
Hayes, Avho was executed in 1726. She and her 
husband lived in Tyburn Road, now called Oxford 
Street, but, not being contented with her spouse, 
she engaged two assassins, Wood and Billings, to 
make him drunk, and then aid her in dispatching 
him. They did so, and chopped up the body, 
carrymg the head in a pail to the Horseferry at 
Westminster, where they threw it into the Thames, 
the other portion being secreted about a pond in 
Marylebone Fields. The head being found and 
identified, search was made for the rest of the 
body, and this being discovered, the other mur- 
derers were hung near the spot where Upper 
Wimpole Street now stands. Mrs. Hayes was 
reserved to suffer at Tyburn, blazing fagots being 
placed under her. The murder, as might be 
imagined, caused a great sensation when it became 
known, and is constantly mentioned in the publi- 
cations of the time. 

The following lines, from Swift's "Tom Clinch 
going to be Hanged," give a picture of the grim 
cavalcade wending its way from Newgate to Tyburn, 
in 1727 : — 

" As clever Tom Clinch, while the rabble was bawling, 
Rode stately through Holborn to die in his calling, 
He stopped at the ' George ' for a bottle of sack, 
And promised to pay for it — when he came back. 
His waistcoat, and stockings, and breeches were white, 
His cap had a new cherry-ribbon to tie 't ; 
And the maids to the doors and the balconies ran, 
And cried. ' Lack-a-day ! he's a proper young man ! ' " 

" Execution-day," as it was termed, must have 
been a carnival of frequent occurrence. Horace 
Walpole says that in the year 1752 no less than 
seventeen persons were executed at Tyburn in a 
batch. One of the most memorable executions 
that took place here was on the 5th of May, 1760, 
when that eccentric nobleman, Lawrence, third 
Earl Ferrers, met his fate for the murder of his 
steward, a i\Ir. John Johnson. The scene of 
the tragedy was his lordship's seat of Staunton 
Harold, near Ashby-de-la-Zouche, and the deed 
itself was deliberately planned and carried out. 
The career of Lord Ferrers for many years pre- 
viously had been one of the grossest dissipation, 
and had resulted in his estates becoming seriously 
involved. The Court of Chancery ordered that 
the rents due to him should be paid to a receiver, 
the nomination of the said receiver being left to 
his lordship, who hoped to find in that person a 

pliant tool, who would take things easily and let 
him have his own way. The person whom Lord 
Ferrers so appointed was none other than ]\Ir. 
Johnson, who had been in the service of his lord- 
ship's family, as steward, for many years. But he 
soon found out that he had got a different man to 
deal with than he had expected ; and, accordingly, 
from that time, he conceived an inveterate hatred 
towards him, on account of the opposition which 
he offered to his desires and whims, and he finally 
resolved to "move heaven and earth" to obtain 
his revenge. Lord Ferrers' household at that time 
consisted of a Mrs. C , who acted as house- 
keeper, her four daughters, and five domestic 
servants ; and Mr. Johnson's farm-house, the 
Mount, was about a mile distant from the mansion, 
across the park. On Sunday, the 13th of January, 
in the year 1760, Lord Ferrers called on Mr. 
Johnson, and, after some discourse, arranged for 
another meeting, to take place at Staunton on the 
following Friday, at three o'clock. The Friday 
came round, and Johnson was true to his appoint- 
ment. Shortly before that hour, liis lordship had 

desired Mrs. C to take the children out for a 

walk, and the two men-servants he had contrived 
to get out of the way on different pretexts, so that 
when Johnson arrived there was no one in the 
house except his lordship and the three maid- 
servants. On the arrival of Mr. Johnson he was 
at once admitted into his lordship's private sitting- 
room. " They had sat together, talking on various 
matters, for some ten minutes or more, when the 
earl got up, walked to the door, and locked it. 
He next desired Johnson at once to settle some 
disputed account ; then, rising higher in his de- 
mands, ordered him, as he valued his hfe, to sign 
a paper which he had drawn up, and which was a 
confession of his (Johnson's) villany. Johnson ex- 
postulated and refused, as an honest man would 
refuse, to sign his name to any such document. 
The earl then drew from his pocket a loaded 
pistol, and bade him kneel do^vn, for that his last 
hour was come. Johnson bent one knee, but the 
earl insisted on his kneeling on both his knees. 
I He did so, and Lord Ferrers at once fired. The 
! ball entered his body below the rib, but it did not 
I do its fell work instantaneously. Though mortally 
wounded, the poor fellow had strength to rise and 
to call loudly for assistance. The eari at first 
I coolly prepared as though he would discharge the 
I other pistol, so as to put his victim out of misery ; 
but, suddenly moved with remorse, he unlocked 
the door and called for the servants, who, on 
hearing the discharge of the pistol, had run, in fear 
and trembling, to the wash-house, not knowing 




whether his lordship would not take it into his 
head to send a bullet through their bodies also. 
He called them once and again, desired one to 
fetch a surgeon, and another to help the wounded 
man into a bed. It was clear, however, that 
Johnson had not many hours to live ; and, as he 
desired to see his children before he died, the earl 
ordered that they should be summoned from the 
farm. Miss Johnson came speedily, and found 

for trial at the bar of the House of Peers. His 
trial lasted nearly three days, and resulted in his 
being sentenced to be " hanged by the neck until 
he was dead j" but, "in consideration of his rank," 
a few days' extension of time was allowed before 
the sentence was carried into effect, and also he 
was permitted to be hanged with a silken instead 
of a hempen rope. Lord Ferrers, to use the slang 
expression of the sporting wcw-ld, "died game." 


her father apparently in the agonies of death, and 
Lord Ferrers standing by the bedside, and at- 
tempting to stanch the blood that flowed from the 
wound." During the night, by a clever 7'nse^ 
Johnson was removed to his own house, where he 
lingered only a few hours, dying early the next 
morning. The coroner's jury returned a verdict of 
" wilful murder " against Lord Ferrers, who was at 
once lodged in Leicester Gaol. About a fortnight 
afterwards, we are told, he was brought up to 
London in his own landau, drawn by six horses, 
under a strong guard, and he was "dressed like a 
jockey, in a close riding frock, jacked boots and 
cap, and a plain shirt." Arraigned before the 
House of Lords, he was at once committed to the 
Tower, and two months later was again brought up 

To the last he had respect to his rank, and, de- 
clining to journey to Tyburn in a cart, went slowly 
and stately thither in his own landau, again drawn 
by six horses. In this, dressed in his wedding suit, 
he rode as calmly to the gallows as the handsomest 
highwayman of his day, and went through the per- 
formance there with as little unnecessary affectation 
as though, like many a " gentleman of the road," 
he had looked to such an end as " the appropriate 
and inevitable conclusion of his career." It may 
be added that the landau in which Lord Ferrers 
rode to Tyburn was never used again, but was left 
to rot away and fall to pieces in a coach-house at 
Acton, His lordship's body found a grave at old 
St. Pan eras Church. 

In our account oi Covent Garden, in a previous 




volume,* we have spoken at some length of the 
murder of Miss Reay by the Rev. Mr. Hackman. 
Boswell was present at Hackman's trial at the Old 
Bailey, and further, after his condemnation and 
sentence, attended him in his coach to Tyburn, 
in company with a sheriff's officer. Selwyn, who, 
like Boswell, was fond of seeing executions, was 
not present on this occasion: but his friend, the 
Earl of Carlisle, attended, in order "to give some 

The two were drawn in an open cart from Newgate 
to Tyburn, the execution being attended by an 
immense crowd. In apprehension of an attempt 
to rescue the criminal, twenty thousand men were 
ordered to be reviewed in Hyde Park during the 
execution, which, however, " though attended by an 
unequalled concourse of people, passed off with the 
utmost tranquillity." " Upon the whole," writes a 
friend of George Selwyn, who was present, " the 


account of Hackman's behaviour." This he did, 
to the following effect : — " The poor man be- 
haved with great fortitude ; no appearances of fear 
were to be perceived, but very evident signs of 
contrition and repentance. He was long at his 
prayers ; and when he flung down his handkerchief 
as the sign for the cart to move on, Jack Ketch, 
instead of instantly whipping on the horse, jumped 
•on the other side of him to snatch up the hand- 
kerchief, lest he should lose his rights. He then 
returned to the head of the cart, and Jehu'd him 
out of the world." 

In 1777, Dr. Dodd, in company with another 
ielon, made his exit from the world at Tyburn Tree. 


• See Vol. III., p. 261. 

{From an Oi i Frinl rj I he Period.) 

piece was not very full of events. The doctor, to 
all appearance, was rendered perfectly stupid from 
despair. His hat was flapped all round and pulled 
over his eyes, which were never directed to any 
object around, nor ever raised, except now and 
then lifted up in the course of his prayers. He 
came in a coach, and a very heavy shower of rain 
fell just upon his entering the cart, and another 
just at his putting on his nightcap. During the 
shower an umbrella was held over his head, which 
Gilly Williams, who was present, observed was quite 
unnecessary, as the doctor was going to a place 
where he might be dried. . . . The executioner 
took both the doctor's hat and wig off at the same 
) time. Why he put on his wig again I do not 
know, but he did ; and the doctor took off his wig 




a second time, and tied on a nightcap, which did 
not fit him ; but whether he stretched that or took 
another, I could not perceive. He then put on his 
nightcap himself, and upon his taking it, he cer- 
tainly had a smile on his countenance ; and very 
soon afterwards there was an end of all his hopes 
and fears on this side of the grave. He never 
moved from the place he first took in the cart ; 
seemed absorbed in prayer, and utterly dejected, 
without any other signs of animation but in praying. 
I stayed till he was cut down and put into the 
hearse. The body was hurried to the house of 
Davies, an undertaker in Goodge Street, Tottenham 
Court Road, where it v/as placed in a hot bath, and 
every exertion made to restore life, but in vain." 
We have already given some particulars of the life 
of Dr. Dodd, and of the crime for which he suf- 
fered ; * it only remains to add that Dr. Johnson 
made eloquent and strenuous exertions with his 
pen to get the capital sentence remitted, but in 
vain. " The malevolence of men and their good 
nature," wrote Horace Walpole, " displayed them- 
selves in their different characters against Dodd. 
His character appeared so bad to Dr. Newton, 
Bishop of Bristol, that he said, ' I am sorry for Dr. 
Dodd.' Being asked why, he replied, ' Because he 
is to be hanged for the least crime he ever com- 
mitted.' " 

The fondness which many minds feel (or rather 
felt) for these melancholy sights is thus discussed 
by Boswell and Dr. Johnson : — " I mentioned to 
him that I had seen the execution of several con- 
victs at Tyburn f two days before, and that none of 
them seemed to be under any concern. Johnson : 
' Most of them, sir, have never thought at all.' 
Boswell: * But is not the fear of death natural to 
man ? ' Johnson : ' So much so, sir, that the whole 
of life is but keeping away the thoughts of it' He 
then, in a low and earnest tone, talked of his medi- 
tating upon the awful hour of his own dissolution, 
and in what manner he should conduct himself 
upon that occasion. ' I know not,' said he, ' whether 
I should wish to have a friend by me, or have it all 
between God and myself.' 

" Talking of our feeling for the distresses of others 
— Johnson : ' Why, sir, there is much noise made 
about it, but it is greatly exaggerated. No, sir, we 
have a certain degree of feeling to prompt us to do 
good ; more than that Providence does not intend. 
It would be misery to no purpose.' Boswell : ' But 

• See page 47, ante. 

t Six unhappy men were executed at Tybiirn on Wcdnesd.iy, the i8lh 
(p)te day before). It of the irregularities of Mr. P.oswell's mind 
to be passionately fond of seeing these melancholy spectacles. Indeed, 
he avows and defends it (in the Ilyfinchoiidriac, No. (A, London Mag., 
1783) as a natural !\V<S irresistible impulse. — Ckokek. 

suppose now, sir, that one of your intimate friends 
were apprehended for an offence for which he 
might be hanged.' Johnson : ' I should do what I 
could to bail him, and give him any other assistance; 
but if he were once fairly hanged, I should not 
suffer.' Boswell : ' Would you eat your dinner that 
day, sir ? ' Johnson : ' Yes, sir ; and eat it as if he 
were eating with me. Why, there's Baretti, who is 
to be tried for his life to-morrow ; friends have risen 
up for him on every side, yet if he should be 
hanged, none of them would eat a sHce of pudding 
the less. Sir, that sympathetic feeling goes a very 
little way in -depressing the mind.' " % 

Tyburn Tree was the usual end of the " highway- 
man," as people in the days of Queen Anne and 
the Georges euphemistically called the robber and 
assassin of the king's high road, " Alas ! " writes 
Thackeray, " there always came a day in the life of 
that warrior when it was the fashion to accompany 
him as he passed, without his black mask, and with a 
nosegay in his hand, accompanied by halberdiers, 
and attended by the sheriff, in a carriage without 
springs, and a clergyman jolting beside him, to a 
spot close by Cumberland Gate and the Marble 
Arch, where a stone still records that * here Tyburn 
turnpike stood.' What a change in a century ; 
nay, in a few years ! Within a few yards of that 
gate the fields began : the fields of his exploits, 
behind the hedges of which he lurked and robbed. 
A great and wealthy city has grown over those 
meadows. Were a man brought to die thereon, 
the windows would be closed, and the inhabitants 
would keep their houses in sickening horror. A 
hundred years ago people crowded there to see the 
last act of a highwayman's life, and made jokes on 
it. Swift laughed at him, grimly advising him to 
provide a hoUand shirt and white cap, crowned with 
a crimson or black ribbon, for his exit, to mount 
the cart cheerfully, shake hands with the hangman, 
and so farewell; or Gay wrote the most delightful 
ballads, and then made merry over his hero." 

Among those who suffered here the penalty of 
their crimes as highwaymen was the notorious 
" Sixteen-string Jack," who is said by Dr. Johnson 
to have " towered above the common mark " in 
his own- line as much as Gray did in poetry. He 
was remarkable for foppery in his dress, and, as 
Boswell tells us, derived his name from a bunch of 
sixteen strings which he wore at the knees of his 
breeches. John Rann, for such was this male- 
factor's real name, was executed here in November, 
1774, for robbing Dr. Bell, the chaplain to the 
Princess Amelia, in Gunnersbury Lane. 

$ Ijoswell's "Life of Johnson. 




" Rann was a smart fellow, and a great favourite 
with a certain description of ladies ; he had been 
coachman to the Earl of Sandwich, when his lord- 
ship resided in the south-east comer house of 
Bedford Row. It was pretty generally reported 
that the sixteen strifigs worn by this freebooter at 
his knees were in allusion to the number of times 
he had been tried and acquitted. However, he 
was caught at last; and J. T. Smith records his 
being led, when a boy, by his father's playfellow, 
Joseph NoUekens, to the end of John Street, to see 
the notorious terror of the king's highway, Rann, 
pass on his way to execution. The malefactor's 
coat was a bright pea-green ; he had an immense 
nosegay, which he had received from the hand of 
one of the frail sisterhood, whose practice it was 
in those days to present flowers to their favourites 
from the steps of St. Sepulchre's Church, as the 
last token of what they called their attachment 
to the condemned, whose worldly accounts were 
generally brought to a close at Tyburn, in con- 
sequence of their associating with abandoned 
characters. Such is Mr. Smith's account of the 
procession of the hero to Tyburn ; and Nollekens 
assured Smith, had his father-in-law, Mr. Justice 
Welsch, been high constable, they could have 
walked all the way to Tyburn by the side of the 
cart." The " sixteen strings " which this free- 
booter wore at his knees were, in reality, to the 
initiated at least, a covert allusion to the number 
of times that he had been tried and acquitted. 
Fortunately for the Boswell illustrators, there is 
an etched portrait of " Sixteen-string Jack;" for, 
thief though he was, he had the honour of being 
recorded by Dr. Johnson. A correspondent of 
Hone's "Year-Book," published in 1832, states 
that he well remembered seeing " Sixteen-string 
Jack " taken in the cart to Tyburn. 

It was, in fact, at Tyburn that most of the high- 
waymen of the last century — of whom Captain 
Macheath was another example, and whose exploits 
were so well known on Hounslow Heath, at 
Finchley, and on the Great North Road — closed 
their career. 

"The species of gentleman highwajTman," ob- 
serves Mr. James Hannay, " no longer exists to 
frighten the traveller, and does no greater harm 
than put you to sleep in the pages of a novel. A 
gentleman can now roll through the country in his 
travelling-carriage without any fear of being robbed 
by a gallant horseman, summoning him to sur- 
render with the air of a courtier, and pocketing his 
money with a quotation from Horace. The last 
of these heroes long ago died on that greatest of 
all ' trees of liberty,' the tree of Tyburn ; and 

his only representative now-a-days is the common 
footpad — a vulgar fellow — who knocks you down, 
and rifles you when you are insensible." 

Another notorious character who was hanged 
here about the middle of the last century was 
McLean, the " fashionable highwayman," of whom 
Walpole thus writes : — " One night, in the begin- 
ning of November, 1749, as I was returning from 
Holland House by moonlight, about ten o'clock, I 
was attacked by two highwaymen in Hyde Park, 
and the pistol of one of them going oft' accidentally, 
raised the skin under my eye, left some marks of 
shot in my face, and stunned m.e. The ball went 
through the top of the chariot, and if I had sat an 
inch nearer to the left side, must have gone through 
my head." One of these highwaymen was McLean, 
He also attacked and robbed Lord Eglinton, Sir 
Thomas Robinson, Mrs, Talbot, and many others. 
He carried off a blunderbuss belonging to the old 
Scotch earl. McLean was at one time a grocer in 
Welbeck Street, but having the misfortune to lose 
his wife, he gave up business and took to the road, 
having as a companion, one Plunket, a journeyman 
apothecary. McLean was captured in the autumn 
of 1750, by selling a laced waistcoat to a pawn- 
broker in Monmouth Street, who happened to carry 
it to the very man who had just sold the lace. 
Walpole tells us "there were a wardrobe of clothes, 
three-and-twenty purses, and the celebrated blunder- 
buss found at his lodgings, besides a famous kept 
mistress," Soame Jenyns, in his poem entitled 
" The Modern Fine Lady," written in the year this 
" fashionable highwayman " came to grief, writes — 

" She weeps if but a handsome thief is hung," 

To which is appended this note : — " Some of the 
brightest eyes were at this time in tears for one 
McLean, condemned for robbery on the highway," 
Even a cursory account of Tyburn would be in- 
complete without mention of one more highway- 
man, who here paid the penalty of his offences on 
the triangular gallows. This was Claude Duval, 
who was, perhaps, even more famous than McLean. 
He made Holloway the chief scene of predatory 
exploits. In Lower Holloway his name was long 
kept in remembrance by Duval's Lane, which, 
curiously enough, as John Timbs tells us in his 
" Romance of London," " was previously called 
Devil's Lane, and more anciently Tolentone Lane," 
Macaulay, in his " History of England," says that 
Claude Duval "took to the road, and became 
captain of a formidable gang ; " adding that " it is 
related how, at the head of his troop, he stopped a 
lady's coach, in which there was a booty of four 
hundred pounds ; how he took only one hundred, 




and suffered the fair o\vner to ransom the rest by- 
dancing a coranto with him on the heath." This ] 
celebrated exploit has been made the subject of 
one of Mr. Frith's remarkable pictures, and has 
been engraved. Duval was arrested at the " Hole- 
in-the-Wall," a noted house near Covent Garden, 
and he was executed in January, 1669, in the twenty- 
seventh year of his age. It is on record how that, 
" after lymg in state at the Tangier Tavern, in St. 
Giles's, he was buried in the middle aisle of St. 
Paul's, Covent Garden, his funeral being attended 
with flambeaux and a numerous train of mourners, 
' to the great grief of the women.' " 

Tyburn, it may be added, has also some other 
associations, being connected with the history of 
newspaper;, and the liberty of the press. At the 
Restoration the latter had almost ceased to exist, 
and the press had not only to make itself heard 
through the small voice of a " Licencer," but to 
regulate its proceedings by Act of Parliament. In 
1663 a Tyburn audience was assembled to witness 
the execution of a troublesome printer. He was 
named John Twyn, and had carried on his business 
in Cloth Fau", near to Milton's hiding-place, when he 
had " fall'n on evil days." T\vyn was accused of 
having printed some seditious work bearing on the 
arguments often urged against the Commonwealth, 
"that the execution of judgment and justice is as 
well the people's as the magistrates' duty; and if 
the magistrates pervert judgment, the people are 
bound by the law of God to execute judgment 
without them and upon them." Roger L'Estrange 
was the " licencer" who had hunted up this offend- 
ing printer ; and Chief Justice Hyde sentenced 
him to be "drawn on a hurdle to Tyburn, and there 
hanged by the neck ; " and, being alive, that he 
should be cut down, and his body mutilated in a 
way which decency forbids the mention of; that 
his entrails should aftenvards be taken out, " and, 
you still living, the same to be burnt before your 
eyes ; your head to be cut off, and your head and 
quarters to be disposed of at the pleasure of the 
King's Majesty." It is fortunate for the law, as well 
as for offenders, that such merciful and upright 
judges have ceased to exist. 

In 1782, the year preceding that which witnessed 
the last executions at Tyburn, the dead body of one 
John Playnes, a professional thief and housebreaker, 
who, in consequence, had finished here his career, 
was taken, as a "subject" for dissection, to the 
residence of Sir William Blizard. The body, we 
are told, showed signs of life, and Sir William per- 
fected its recovery. Anxious to know the sensations 
which John Haynes had experienced at the moment 
of his suspension, the surgeon questioned the thief 

earnestly upon the subject. The only answer he 
could obtain was as follows : — " The last thing I 
recollect was going up Holborn Hill in a cart. 
I thought then that I was in a beautiful green field ; 
and that is all I remember till I found myself in 
your honour's dissecting-room." It is worthy of 
record that the last criminal executed here was 
one Ryland, who was hung for forgery in 1783; 
after which the gallows were taken down about 
London in order to concentrate the executions at 
Newgate and Horsemonger Lane. 

Many good stories are told about Tyburn ; 
among others, the following : — " A celebrated wit 
one evening was walking along a lane near Oxford 
Road, as it was then called, when he was accosted 
by a shabby-looking fellow, who asked him the 
way to Tyburn. The gentleman, being fond of a 
jest, answered, * Why, you have only to rob the first 
person you meet, and you will find the way there 
easily.' The fellow thanked him, and pulled out 
and presented a pistol, threatening to blow his 
brains out if he did not give up his purse. The 
wit was forced to comply, and lost his money and 
his jest at once." 

Before leaving the subject of the "gallows," a 
word or two about " Jack Ketch " and his office 
may not be out of place. The origin of the name 
" Jack Ketch," as applied to the public executioner, 
is thus explained in Lloyd's MS. Collection of 
English Pedigrees in the British Museum. We give 
it for what it is worth. " The Manor of Tyburn," 
writes Mr. Lloyd, " where felons were for a long 
time executed, was formerly held by Richard 
Jacquett, from whence we have the name Jack 
Ketch as a corruption." But the work of the 
executioner was sufificiently artistic to admit of 
degrees of skill. Thus Dryden remarks : — " A man 
may be capable (as Jack Ketch's wife said of her 
servant) of a plain piece of work, a bare hanging ; 
but to make a malefactor die sweetly was only be- 
longing to her husband." 

The earliest hangman whose name has descended 
to us, if we may trust the authority of that accom- 
plished antiquary, the late Dr. Rimbault, is one 
Bull, who is mentioned in his public capacity 
in Gabriel Harvey's tract against Nash, called 
"Pierce's Supererogation" (1593). Bull was suc- 
ceeded by the more celebrated Derrick, who cut off 
the head of the unfortunate Earl of Essex in 1601. 
In Dekker's " Bellman of London," printed in 1608, 
under the article " Prigging Law," are the following 
notices of this worthy : — " For he rides his circuit 
with the devil, and Derrick must be his host, and 
Tiburne the land at which he wll light." " At the 
gallows, where I leave them, as to the haven at 




which they must all cast anchor, if Derrick's cables 
do but hold." Again, at the end of his "Wonder- 
ful Year," is this passage : — " But by these tricks 
imagining that many thousands have been turned 
wrongfully off the ladder of life ; and praying that 
Derrick or his successors may live to do those a 
good turn that have done so to others. Hie Jims 
Priami ! Here is an end of an old song." Derrick 
held his unenviable post for nearly half a century; 
and from him was named the temporary crane 
formed on board ship for unloading and general 
hoisting purposes, by lashing one spar to another, 
gibbet fashion. The next hangman was the noto- 
rious Gregory Brandon, who, as the story goes, by 
a ruse played upon Garter King-at-Arms, had a 
grant of arms confirmed to him, and was thereby 
"made a gentleman," which the mob in a joke 
soon elevated into esquire, "a title by which he 
was knoAvn for the rest of his life, and which was 
afterwards transferred to his successors in office." 
He had frequently acted as a substitute for Derrick ; 
and had become so popular that the gallows was 
sometimes called by his Christian name, as may be 
seen in the following lines : — 

" This trembles under the Black Rod, and he 
Doth fear his fate from the Gregorian tree." 

Gregory Brandon was succeeded by his son 
Richard, who seems to have claimed the gallows 
by inheritance. This Richard Brandon, as we 
have shown in a previous volume, has the credit of 
being the executioner of Charles I.* " Squire" Dun 
was the next common hangman, and he in turn 
was succeeded by the veritable Jack Ketch, who 
was the executioner of Lord William Russell and 
the Duke of Monmouth. Macaulay, in his account 
of the death of the latter, says : " He then accosted 
John Ketch, the executioner, a wretch who had 
butchered many brave and noble victims, and 
whose name has, during a century and a half, been 
vulgarly given to all who have succeeded him in 
his odious office. ' Here,' said the duke, ' are 
six guineas for you. Do not hack me as you did 
my Lord Russell. I have heard that you struck 
him three or four times. My servant will give you 
some gold if you do the work well.' " This notable 
functionary does not seem to have had a very easy 
time of it; at all events, in 1678, a broadside was 
published, entitled " The Plotter's Ballad : being 
Jack Ketch's incomparable receipt for the cure of 
traytorous recusants." In the same year appeared 
a quarto tract : "The Tyburn Ghost ; or, Strange 
Downfal of the Gallows : a most true Relation how 
the famous Triple Tree, near Paddington, was pluckt 

• See Vol. III., p. 350, 

up by the roots, and demolisht by certain Evil Spirits; 
with Jack Ketch's Lamentation for the Loss of his 
Shop, 1678." In the next year was produced 
" Squire Ketch's Declaration concerning his late 
Confinement in the Queen's Bench and Marshalsea, 
whereby his hopeful harvest was liked to have been 
blasted." Two years^ later we find him at Oxford : 
— "Aug. 31, 1681. Wednesday, at 11, Stephen 
College suffered death by hanging in the Castle 
Yard, Oxon, and when he hanged about half an 
hour was cut down by Catch, or Ketch, and quartered 
under the gallows." t The name of Ketch is often 
mentioned, in the lampoons of the day, along ^\-ith 
that of the infamous Judge Jeffreys, as his brother 
in crime. One poet \\Tites : — 

" \\Tiile Jeffreys on the bench, Ketch on the gibbet sits." 

He is also mentioned by D'Urfey, in his humorous 
poem, entitled " Butler's Ghost," published in 1682 ; 
and in the following year he is thus mentioned in 
the epilogue to Dryden and Lee's " Duke of 
Guise : " — 

" Lenitives, he says, suit best with our condition ; 
Jack Ketch, says I, 's an excellent physician." 

For the following scrap of antiquarian lore re- 
specting the interesting locality of which we treat, 
our readers are indebted to " honest " John Timbs : 
— " Formerly, when a person prosecuted another 
for any offence, and the prisoner was executed 
at Tyburn, the prosecutor was presented with a 
'Tyburn Ticket,' which exempted him and its 
future holders from having to serve on juries. 
This privilege was not repealed till the sixth year 
of the reign of George IV." 

The following is said to be the reason why Tyburn 
was chosen as the place of execution and burial 
of traitors : — The parishioners of St. Sepulchre's, 
near Newgate, were not over-well pleased that the 
bodies of those malefactors who had suffered the 
last penalty of the law should be buried amongst 
them ; in proof, it may be mentioned, on the autho- 
rity of a letter from Fleetwood to Lord Burghley, 
that they " would not sufter a traytor's corpes to be 
layed in the earthe where theire parents, w)-efts, 
chyldren, kynred, maisters, and old naighboures 
did rest : and so his carcas was returned t» the 
buryall ground neere to Tybome." 

The gallows at Tyburn was triangular in plan, 
ha\-ing three legs to stand on, and appears to have 
been a permanent erection. From the number of 
criminals hanged there, it would indeed seem to 
have been useless to have taken it do\vn after each 
execution. We may learn, from a sermon prenched 

' t "A'Wood's Life," by Dr. Bliss, 1848. 




by good Bishop Home, towards the close of the 
eighteenth century, that it was no uncommon thing 
to see scores of felons executed here. Taylor, the 
Water Poet, in " The Praise and Virtue of a Jayle 
and Jaylers" (1623), gives these lines : — 

" I have heard sundry men ofttimes dispute, 
Of trees that in one yeare will twice beare fruit ; 
But if a man note Tyburn, 'twill appeare 
That that's a tree that bears twelve times a yearc." 

cart, riding up Holborn in a two-wheeled chariot, 
with a guard of halberdiers. * There goes a proper 
fellow,' says one; 'Good people, pray for me.' 
Now I'm at the three wooden stilts. Hey ! now I 
feel my toes hang i' the cart ; now 'tis drawn away ; 
now, now, now ! — I'm gone ! " 

At Tyburn, upon the restoration of monarchy, 
was performed the farce of dragging Sir Henry 
Mildmay, Wallop, and some other members of the 


Again, in Dr. Johnson's "London" (a poem), 
we rea'.d ; — 

" Scarce can our fields — Kuch crowds at Tyburn die — 
AVith hemp the gallows and the fleet supply." 

Th(m there is a parody on Gray's " Elegy," in 
which we read — 

" Yet e'en these humble vices to correct, 
Old Tyburn lifts his triple front on high." 

In Shirley's play of The Wedding, published in 
1629, an execution at Tyburn is thus depicted: 
— ^'' K.awbone : I do imagine myself apprehended 
alreadly; now the constable is carrying me to New- 
gate ; now, now, I'm in the Sessions House, in the 
dock_; now I'm called; 'Not guilty, my lord.' 
The jury has found the indictment, hilla vera. 
Now, now, comes my sentence. Now I'm in the 

regicide party, to the fatal tree, with halters round 
their necks. Miles Corbet, the regicide also, 
having been arrested on the Continent, was brought 
to London, dragged through the streets hither, and 

Evelyn, in his " Diary," under date January 30, 
1 66 1, -the first anniversary of the murder of 
Charles I. since the Restoration, writes : — " The 
carcases of those rebels, Cromwell, Bradshaw, the 
judge who condemned his Majesty, and Ireton 
(son-in-law to the Usurper), were dragged out of 
their superb tombs in Westminster among the 
kings to Tyburn, and hanged on the gallows there 
from nine in the morning till six at night, and 
then buried under that fatal and ignominious 
monument in a deep pit, thousands who had seen 






them in all their pride being spectators." How far 
this "deep pit" can be regarded as really the last 
resting-place of Cromwell's body may be inferred 
from what we have already ^vritten on the subject, 
in our account of Red Lion Square, Holborn.* 

In the " New View of London," published in 
1708, no mention is made of either Oxford or 
Uxbridge Road, but the thoroughfare is entered 
as Tyburn Road. It is thus described as lying 
" between St. Giles' Pound, east, and the lane 
leading to the Gallows, west, 350 yards in length." 
The writer adds: — "This street has its name as 
being the next street to Tyburn, the place for 
execution of all such malefactors, generally speak- 
ing, as have committed acts worthy of death within 
the City and Liberties of London and County 
of Middlesex. I have known, he continues, 
" nineteen executed at one sessions, though these 
are held about eight times a year ; but this is 
near twenty years ago." He then congratulates 
the nation on the decrease in the number of 
executions of late, which he ascribes to improve- 
ments in the law, and to the efforts of societies for 
the reformation of manners ; and ends by telling a 
story of a man who revived, after being cut down 
off the gallows, in 1705. 

Tybum, it need scarcely be added, figures con- 
stantly in the caricatures of Hogarth. Thus, in 
his " Industry and Idleness," " Tom Idle " goes to 
Tybum in a cart with a coffin in it, whilst the 
other apprentice, Francis Goodchild, drives to the 
Mansion House, as Lord Mayor of London, with 
footmen and sword-bearer, the King and the Court 
looking on from a balcony in St. Paul's Church- 
yard, and smiling approval. In Hogarth's print of 
Tyburn Tree, the hangman is represented coolly 
smoking his pipe, as he reclines by the gibbet, in 
full view of the hills of Hampstead and Highgate. 
" Could Tom Idle's ghost have made its appear- 
ance in 1847," asks Thackeray, in his "Humour- 
ists," " what changes would have been remarked by 
that astonished escaped criminal ! Over that road 
which the hangman used to travel constantly, and 
the Oxford stage twice a week, go ten thousand 
carriages every day ; over yonder road, by which 
Dick Turpin fled to Windsor, and Squire Western 
journeyed into town, when he came to take up his 
quarters at the Hercules Pillars on the outskirts of 
London, what a rush of civilisation and order flows 
now ! What armies of gentlemen with umbrellas 
march to banks, and chambers, and counting- 
houses ! What regiments of nursery-maids and 
pretty infantry ; what peaceful processions of 

• See Vol. IV., p. 546. 

policemen ; what light broughams and what gay 
carriages ; what swarms of busy apprentices and 
artificers, riding on omnibus-roofs, pass daily and 
hourly ! Tom Idle's times are quite changed ; 
many of the institutions are gone into disuse which 
were admired in his day. There's more pity and 
kindness, and a better chance for poor Tom's 
successors now than at that simpler period, when 
Fielding hanged him and Hogarth drew him." 

Tyburn also figures in one of Hogarth's pictures 
of " Marriage a la Mode," where Counsellor Silver- 
tongue pays the last penalty of the law for sending 
a certain noble earl out of the world before his 
time. In Hogarth's hands, no doubt, Tyburn was 
usefully employed, both 

" To point a moral and adorn a tale." S 

But Tyburn has witnessed other scenes besides 
those of which we have spoken above. The story 
of Queen Henrietta Maria doing penance here is 
thus told by Mr. S. W. Gardiner, in his " History 
of England under the Duke of Buckingham and 
Charles I. : " — " It was after a long day spent in 
attendance on the devotions of her Church at the 
Chapel at St. James's that the young queen of 
Charles I. strolled out, with her ladies, to breathe 
the fresh evening air in St. James's Park. By- 
and-by she found her way into Hyde Park, and 
by accident or design directed her steps towards 
Tyburn. In her position it was quite natural that 
she should bethink herself of those who had suf- 
fered there as martyrs for the faith which she had 
come to England to support. What wonder if her 
heart beat more quickly, and if some prayer for 
strength to bear her weary lot rose to her lips? 
A week or two probably passed away before the 
tale reached Charles, exaggerated in its passage 
through the mouths of men. . . . The Queen 
of England, he was told, had been conducted on a 
pilgrimage to offer prayer to dead traitors, who 
had suffered the just reward of their crimes. The 
cup of his displeasure was now full ; . . . those 
who had brought her to this should no longer 
remain in England. . . . On July 31 the king 
and queen dined together at Whitehall. After 
dinner he conducted her to his private apartments, 
locked the door on her attendants, and told her 
that her servants must go." Meanwhile, Conway 
was taking measures for the removal of her ladies 
to Somerset House. " As soon as the young queen 
perceived what was being done she flew to the 
window and dashed to pieces the glass, that her | 
voice might be heard by those who were bidding j 
her adieu for the last time ; and Charles, it is said, 
dragged her back into the room, with her hands 



bleeding from the energy with which she clung 
to the bars." As we have already stated, in our 
account of Somerset House,* no time was lost in 
sending off the queen's French attendants to their 
native country. 

It is more probable that the act on the part of 
her Majesty was a voluntary one ; for, although 
pious and devout, the queen was not at all a person 
to be led blindly at the will of any confessor. 
However, in the illustrated edition of Pennant's 
"London," in the British Museum, there is to be 
seen a copy of a rare German print, purporting 
to be a representation of the scene. At a short 
distance off is the confessor's carriage, drawn by 
six horses ; in the coach is seated the confessor 
himself, and a page, with a lighted candle or torch, 
is standing at the door. The fact is certainly 
recorded in a cotemporary document pubhshed in 
the first series of " Original Letters," edited by Sir 
Henry ElHs; but as the language used is of the 
most rabid and foul-mouthed kind — the confessor 
being styled " Luciferian," and the details of the 
affair styled "ridiculous," "absurd," "beggarly" — we 
may reasonably entertain a doubt whether it was 
not a "mare's-nest." In all probability the story 
was concocted by some Titus Oates of the day. 
The letter in question, which purports to be " from 
Mr. Pory to Mr. Joseph Mead," contains the follow- 
ing expressions : — " No longer agone then upon St. 
James his day last, those hypocritical dogges made 
the pore Queen to walke a foot (some add bare- 
foot) from her house at St. James to the gallowes 
at Tyborne, thereby to honour the Saint of the day in 
visiting that holy place where so many martyrs 
(forsooth) had shed their bloud in defense of the 
Catholique cause. . . . Yea, they have made 
her to go barefoot, to spin, to eat her meat out of 
tryne (wooden) dishes, to waite at the table and 
serve her servants, with many other ridiculous and 
absurd penances. It was, certainly, ' high time ' 
that this French train should be dismissed ; and 
packed off they were (' contumaciously refusing to 
go') in coaches, carts, and barges, to Gravesend." 

If it be true that old George III. took such an 
interest in the welfare of those condemned to die 
upon the gallows as he is represented to have 
done in an anecdote which was at one time freely 
circulated, his time must have been pretty well 
occupied by devotional exercises. The anecdote 
in question, albeit highly honourable to his sense 
of public duty, is mentioned on the authority of 
Stevenson, the American envoy in London. Some 
extraordinary occurrence having called a French 

* See Vol. III., p. 91. 

statesman to the palace as late as two o'clock in 
the morning, he found the king in his cabinet, 
examining the case of a prisoner condemned to 
execution. The envoy afterwards ascertained that 
the king keeps a register, recording the name of 
every person capitally condemned, the decision, 
and its reasons. Frequently, in the still hours of 
the night, he performs the task of investigating 
those cases, and adds to the record the circum- 
stances which had influenced his decision. The 
envoy probably did not know that the great and 
good George III. had pursued nearly the same 
practice fifty years before, weighed the evidence 
with the deepest anxiety, and generally shut him- 
self up in his cabinet at Windsor (it was pre- 
sumed in prayer) during the hour appointed for 
the execution in London. 

The exact spot on which the fatal Tyburn Tree 
was erected has been often discussed by anti- 
quaries. It would appear, however, to be identi- 
fied with the site of the house in the south-east 
corner of Connaught Square, formerly numbered 
49 ; for in the lease granted by the Bishop of 
London, to whom the property belongs, this fact 
is particularly mentioned. A ^vriter in The Afiti- 
qiiary, in October, 1873, says, with reference to 
this subject : — " I was born within 100 yards of 
the exact spot on which the gallows stood, and 
my uncle took up the stones on which the uprights 
were placed. The following is his statement to 
me, and the circumstance of his telling it : — In 
1 810, when Connaught Place was being built, he 
was employed on the works, and for many years 
lived at the comer of Bryanston Street and the 
Edgware Road, nearly opposite Connaught Mews. 
My father, a master carpenter, worked for several 
years in Connaught Place, and on one occasion he 
employed his brother, I think in the year 1834; 
at all events, we had just left No. 6, the residence 
of Sir Charles Coote. It was at this time I said 
to my uncle, ' Now you are here, tell me where the 
gallows stood;' to which he replied, 'Opposite 
here, where the staves are.' I thereupon crossed 
over, and drove a brass-headed nail into the exact 
spot he indicated. On reaching home, I told 
my mother of the occurrence, and asked if it were 
correct. She said it was so, for she remembered 
the posts standing when she was a child. This 
might be about the year 1800; and, as she was 
born in Bryanston Street, I beUeve she stated 
what she knew to be a fact. I well remember 
Connaught Square being built, and I also recollect 
a low house standing at the corner of the Uxbridge 
Road, close to No. i, Connaught Place (Arklow 
House), and that, on the removal of this house, 




quantities of human bones were found. I saw 
them carted away by Mr. Nicholls, contractor, of 
Adams' Mews. He removed Tyburn toll-house in 
1829. From what I have been told by old inhabi- 
tants that were born in the neighbourhood, pro- 
bably about 1750, I have every reason to believe 
that the space from the toll-house to Frederick 
Mews was used as a place of execution, and the 
bodies buried adjacent, for I have seen the remains 
disinterred when the square and adjoining streets 
were being built." 

Smith, in his " History of St. Marylebone," states 
that " the gallows were for many years a standing 
fixture on a small eminence at the corner of the 
Edgware Road, near the turnpike, on the identical 
spot where a toll-house was subsequently erected 
by the Uxbridge Road Trust. Beneath this place 
are supposed to lie the bones of Bradshaw, Ireton, 
and other regicides, which were taken from their 
graves after the Restoration, and buried under 
the gallows. The gallows itself subsequently con- 
sisted of two uprights and a cross-beam, erected 
on the morning of execution across the Edgware 
Road, opposite the house at the corner of Upper 
Bryanston Street and the Edgware Road, wherein 
the gallows was deposited after being used; this 
house had curious iron balconies to the windows 
of the first and second floors, where the sheriffs 
sat to witness the executions. After the place of 
execution was changed to Newgate, in 1783, the 
gallows was bought by a carpenter, and made into 
stands for beer-butts in the cellars of the * Car- 
penters' Arms ' public-house, hard by." 

" Around the gibbet," says Mr. Timbs, in his 
" Curiosities of London," " were erected open 
galleries, like a race-course stand, wherein seats 
were let to spectators at executions : the key of 
one of them was kept by Mammy Douglas, ' the 
Tyburn pew-opener.' In 1758, when Dr. Henesey 
was to have been executed for treason, the prices 
of seats rose to 2s. and 2s. 6d. ; but the doctor 
being * most provokingly reprieved,' a riot ensued, 
and most of the seats were destroyed." 

The name of "Tyburn," thus mixed up with 
the saddest portions of our national history, and 
associated with ideas of villany and crime, very 
naturally smelt anything but sweet in the nose of 
the metropolis ; and it was not until the city grew 
in bulk so tremendously that it threatened to burst 
its swathing bands, that the region around the old 
gallows, now known as " Tyburnia," came to be 
built upon, and inhabited by the upper classes of 

It is recorded by Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, in his 
sketch of Charles Townshcnd, that his eccentric 

mother, Audrey, Lady Townshend, who so long 
" entertained " at her house in Whitehall, was one 
day rallied by her friends on taking a short lease 
of " a villa at Tyburn." " Oh," replied the witty 
woman, " you see it is a neighbourhood of which 
I could never tire, for my neighbours are being 
hanged every week ; so we are always changing ! " 
It was this same lady who, on being asked if it was 
true that Whitfield had recanted, answered, " No, 
madam ; but I know he has canted ; " and who 
sarcastically remarked of the royal family, who 
took a fancy to go to all public shows and suppers, 
that it was " the cheapest family to see, and the 
dearest to keep, of any that had ever been seen." 

Mr. G, A. Sala hits the right nail on the head, in 
his " Gaslight and Daylight," when he remarks that 
while the region of the Grosvenors is the place for 
the " swells of the peerage, those of blue blood and 
the strawberry-leaves," Tyburnia suits admirably 
" the nobility of yesterday, your mushroom aristo- 
crats, millionaires, ex-lord mayors, and people of 
that sort ; " and he also pithily adds, " Tyburn is 
gone : I am not such an old fogey as to remember 
t/iaf, nor so staunch a conservative as to regret it 
now that it is gone." 

"Tyburnia" proper, as we may call the city 
which sprang up between the Edgware Road and 
Westbourne Terrace, in the reign of William IV., 
consists of squares, terraces, and rows of stately 
mansions, which now rival in elegance her more 
southern sister, " Belgravia." Oxford and Cam- 
bridge Terraces, which run from the Edgware 
Road to the southern end of Westbourne Terrace, 
with Oxford and Cambridge Squares to the south 
of them, will long keep in remembrance the muni- 
ficence of Lady Margaret, Countess of Richmond, 
as the founder of divinity professorships in our two 
great and ancient universities. 

The Rev. J. Richardson, referring to the days of 
the Regency, writes thus in his " Recollections," 
published in 1856: — "The northern boundary of 
the old metropolis, then called Oxford Road, termi- 
nated abruptly at the entrance of the Park, where 
now stands the triumphal arch lately removed 
from Buckingham Palace. The now fashionable 
distritt which forms one side of the Bayswater 
Road, and occupies the angle between that road 
and Paddington, was, in the eyes of all respect- 
able people, a locality to be avoided. Ragged 
fields stretched over scores of acres of ground; 
and the ominous name of Tyburn frightened, not, 
indeed, those whom it ought to have deterred, 
but those who either assumed a character for 
decency, or really possessed one. In fact, this 
part was a blank in the improvements of London 




for years after other suburbs had been built upon ; 
and it was not until comparatively a recent date 
that the tea-gardens, and other similar low haunts of 
debauchery, gave way to the elegant and stately 
buildings with which it is now covered." It is 
impossible not to recognise these places of amuse- 
ment in the portrait which Charles Dickens gives 
us, in his "Sketches by Boz," of the typical 
London tea-gardens, with their snug boxes and 
alcoves; the men and women, boys and girls, 
sweethearts and married folks, babies in arms and 
children in chaises, the pipes and the shrimps, the 
cigars and the periwinkles, the tea and tobacco, 
are each and all described with a skill almost equal 
to that of a photographer. To the particular 
" Sketch " entitled " London Recreations " we must 
refer our readers for all further details. As we 
have shown in the preceding chapter, the last of 
the tea-gardens — covering what is now Lancaster 
Gate — did not disappear until about 1855. 

At Connaught House, Connaught Place, close 
by the Edgvvare Road, the unfortunate Caroline, 
Princess of Wales, took up her residence when 
banished from the Palace; and hither came the 
Princess Charlotte in a hackney-coach, when she 
quarrelled with her father and left Warwick House, 
as we have stated in our account of that place.* 
The young princess, as she advanced towards 
womanhood, became more and more intractable 
and wilful. In the end, the Regent and his 
Ministers thought the best step would be to find 
her a husband ; and the youthful Prince of Orange 
was suggested as the most eligible. He was by 
birth a Protestant ; he had been educated at 
Oxford, and had served in Spain witli credit ; but 
the self-willed young lady refused him — in a word, 
" turned up her nose " at him. Every opportunity 
was given to him to make himself agreeable to the 
future heiress of the English throne ; but either his 
capacities and acquirements were of a low order, 
or the princess had proposed to herself quite 
another standard of excellence as her beau ideal. 
She simply said " she did not like Oranges in any 
shape ; " and though her royal papa stormed, and 
bishops reasoned with her, her resolution remained 
unshaken. The public admired her pluck and 
firmness, and her refusal to be sold into matrimony 
like a common chattle. She was a princess, but 
she was also a true-hearted Avoman, and she felt 
that she must really love the man whom she should 

• See Vol. IV,, p. 82. 

wed, if she would escape the unhappiness which 
had darkened the married life of her parents. The 
fortunate individual who pleased her taste was 
not long in appearing ; and her marriage with 
Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg was solemnised, ere 
long, with her father's consent, and with the hearty 
good wishes of the people. The Prince himself, 
then a humble cadet of a petty German, house, 
was travelling in England; he met the Princess 
Charlotte at one of the many mansions of the 
aristocracy, and he soon obtained an interest in 
her affections, and also the consent of the Prince 
Regent, who was probably glad enough to get his 
intractable daughter off his hands at any price. 
Leopold at that time was one of the noblest- 
looking young princes in Europe. Tall and 
princely in his bearing, and fascinating in his 
manners, a brave soldier, and an accomphshed 
courtier, he was worthy to win such a prize. They 
were married on May 2nd, 181 6. Alas! within a 
little more than a year the great bell of St. Paul's 
was tolled to announce to a sorrowing people the 
death of the princess in giving birth to a dead 
infant ! 

The sale of the effects of the Princess of Wales, 
at Connaught House, took place in October, 1814. 
The name of the mansion was at a later date 
changed to Arklow House; the latter, like the 
former, being one of the titles inherent in the 
royal family. The late Duke of Sussex was also 
Baron of Arklow, Sir Augustus D'Este, son of 
the Duke of Sussex, lived here for some time 
subsequently. It is now the town residence of 
Mr. A. Beresford-Hope. 

At No. 13 in Hyde Park Square, lived that 
specimen of a fine old English gentleman, Mr. T. 
Assheton-Smith, whose name is so well known 
among Masters of Hounds. A glass apartment 
on the roof of this house, after his death, was 
magnified, by the fears of the servant-girls in the 
neighbourhood, into the abode of a ghost; and 
the ghost — or, at all events, the alarm — was only 
suppressed by editors "writing it down" in the 
London newspapers. 

In concluding this chapter, we may remark that 
the whole neighbourhood is of too recent a growth 
to have many historical reminiscences. Haydon, 
the painter, it is true, lived for some time in 
Burwood Place, close by Connaught Square, and 
there he died by his own hand in 1846, We shall 
have more to say about him when we come to 




1 \1 1 INblON L\N \1 1620 



"And the Bishop's lands, too, what of them? I'll warrant you'll not find better acres anywhere than those which once belonged 

to his lordship." — Boz. 

Riiitic Appearance of Paddington at the Commencement of this Century— Intellectual Condition of t"he Inhabitants— Gradual Increase of the ! 
Population — The Manor of Paddington — The Feast of Abbot Walter, of Westminster — The Prior of St. Bartholomew's and his Brethren— ' 
Dr. Sheldon's Claim of the Manor — The Old Parish Church — Hogarth's Marriage — Building of the New Parish Church — A Curious Custom : 
— Poorness of the Living— The Burial-ground— Noted Persons buried here — Life of Haydon, the Painter — Dr. Geddes — The New Church of 
St. James — Hely Trinity Church — All Saints' Church — The House of the Notorious Richard Brothers — Old Public-houses — Old Paddington 
Green — The Vestry Hall — The Residences of Thomas Uwins, R.A., and Wyatt, the Sculptor — Eminent Residents — The Princess Charlotte and 
her Governess— Paddington House — " Jack-in-the-Green " — Westbourne Place — West bourne Green — iJesborough Place — Westbourne Farm, 
the Residence of Mrs. Siddons — The Lock Hospital and Asylum — St. Mar>''s Hospital — Paddington Provident Dispensary — The Dudley- } 
Stuart Home — "The Boatman's Chapel" — Queen's Park — Old Almshouses— Grand Junction Canal — The Western Water- Works — Imperial 
Gas Company — Kensal Green Cemetery — Eminent Persons buried here— Great Western Railway Terminus. 

Paddington, or Padynton, as the name of the 
place is often spelled in old documents, down to 
the end of the last century was a pleasant little 
rural spot, scarcely a mile to the north-west of the 
Tyburn turnpike, upon the Harrow Road. In- 
deed, it would seem to have preserved its rustic 
character even to a later date ; for it is amusing to 
read without a smile the grave expressions in which 
Priscilla Wakefield describes, in 1814, a visit to this 
then remote and rustic village — a journey which 
now occupies about three minutes by the Under- 
ground Railway : — " From Kensington we journeyed 
northward to Paddington, a village situated on the 

Edgware Road, about a mile from London. In 
our way thither we passed the Lying-in Hospital at 
Bayswater, patronised by the queen." The place , 
is described by Lambert, in his "History and; 
Survey of London and its Environs," at the com- ; 
mencement of the present century, as "a village) 
situated upon the Edgware Road, about a milel 
from London" — a description which, perhaps, was, 
not wholly untrue even at the accession of Queen, 
Victoria ; in fact, until its selection as the terminus^ 
of the Great Western Railway caused it to be fairly; 
absorbed into the great metropolis. 

The parish, being so rural, and so very thinly 




populated, was, doubtless, far behind its " courtly " 
sister suburb of Kensington in mental and intel- 
lectual progress ; so that, perhaps, there may be 
little or no exaggeration in the remarks of Mr. 
Robins, in his " History of Paddington," when he 
remarks :—" Although the people of Paddington 

schoolmaster" was not "abroad," and if the educa- 
tion given in the parish church and other public 
buildings was deficient, it is a consolation to learn, 
from the same authority, that the defect was sup- 
phed, in some measure, at least, by the ale-houses 
in which debating clubs were established. A 


lived at so short a distance from the two rich 
cathedral marts of London and Westminster, they 
made apparently no greater advances in civilisation 
for many centuries than did those who lived in the 
most remote village in the English 'shires.' The 
few people who lived here were wholly agricultural, 
and they owed every useful lesson of their lives 
much more to their own intelligence and observa- 
tion than to any instruction given them by those 
who were paid to be their teachers." But if "the 

correspondent of Hone's "Year-Book," in 1832, 
remarks of Paddington as well as Bayswater, that 
they were both quite rural spots within his own 
remembrance, little as they then deserved the name. 
What would this A\Titer have said if he could have 
looked forward to their condition in the year of 
grace 1876? 

Its population seems to have been always scanty. 
As the earliest parish register goes back no further 
than 1 701, we are driven to draw our inferences 




from the Subsidy Rolls. Probably, in the reign of 
Henry VIII., the entire population did not exceed 
a hundred, and at the accession of James IL it had 
risen, according to the same calculation, to only a 
little over three hundred. Even as lately as the 
year 1795 the hamlet appears to have contained 
only 341 houses, which, allowing five souls to a 
house, would give a population of about 1,700. 
Indeed, so small and insignificant did the village 
continue down to our own times, that George 
Canning instituted a witty comparison between a 
great and a small premier, when he uttered the 
mot : — 

" As London to Paddington 
So is Pitt to Addington." 

The old stone indicating the first mile from 
Tyburn turnpike towards Harrow still remains in 
the road. In 1798, when Gary published his 
" Road Book," there were ten " stages " running 
every day from London to Paddington. William 
Robins, in his work on Paddington, already quoted, 
which was published in the year 1853, says: — "A 
city of palaces has sprung up here within twenty 
years. A road of iron, with steeds of steam, 
brings into the centre of this city, and takes from 
it in one year, a greater number of living beings 
than could be found in all England a few years 
ago ; while the whole of London can be traversed 
in half the time it took to reach Holborn Bars at 
the beginning of this century, when the road was in 
the hands of Mr. Miles, his pair-horse coach, and 
his redoubtable boy," long the only appointed 
agents of communication between Paddington and 
the Gity. The fares were 2s. and 3s. ; the journey, 
we are told, took more than three hours ; and to 
beguile the time at resting-places, " Miles's Boy " 
told tales and played upon the fiddle. Charles 
Knight also tells us that "at the beginning of the 
present century only one stage-coach ran from the 
then suburban village of Paddington to the Gity, 
and that it was never filled ! " 

A map of London, published so lately as 1823, 
exhibits Paddington as quite distinct from the 
metropolis, which has the Edgware Road as its 
western boundary. A rivulet is marked as running 
from north to south through Westbourne Green, 
parallel with Graven Place ; and Westbourne 
House is marked with the name of its resident 
owner, Mr. Gockerell, just like a country manor 
house fifty miles from London ; while half a mile 
further are two isolated farms, named Portobello 
and Notting Bams respectively. The present 
parish includes in its area a portion of Kensington 

How little known to the inhabitants of the great 

metropolis this suburb was in the middle of the 
last century may be inferred from the silence of 
"honest" John Stow, and even of Strype, who, 
in treating of London, make no mention of Pad- 
dington. Indeed, though they devote a chapter of 
" The Circuit Walk," which concludes the " Survey 
of London," to Kensington, Hammersmith, Fulham, 
and Marylebone, we do not find any mention of 
the names of Paddington or Bayswater; the only 
hint in that direction being an entry of "Lisham" 
(i.e. Lisson) " Grove " in the index as " near Pad- 
dington." The whole neighbourhood, indeed, is 
passed entirely sul? silentio by Evelyn and Pepys ; 
it is not mentioned by name by Horace Walpole; 
and, though so near to Tyburn, it is apparently 
ignored by Dr. Johnson and Boswell. It may be 
inferred that even Mrs. Montagu scarcely ever 
drove so far out into the western wilds. Charles 
Dickens and George A. Sala, too, say but little 
about it. It is clear, then, that we must go to 
other sources for any antiquarian notes on this 
neighbourhood, or for anecdotes about its inhabi- 

Paddington is not mentioned in the " Domesday 
Book;" and it is probable that in the Conqueror's 
time the whole site was part of the great forest of , 
Middlesex, of which small portions only appear to 
have been at any time the property of the Crown, j 
The district, nevertheless, was, in remote times, a ' 
part of the extensive parish of St. Margaret's, West- ; 
minster, as appears from the fact that its church ; 
was for a century or two, if not longer, a sort of ■ 
chapel of ease, subject to the Rector or Vicar of St. | 
Margaret's, as, indeed, it continued to be down to | 
the dissolution of monasteries, under Henry VIIL, , 
when the manor of Paddington was given to the 1; 
newly-founded see of Westminster. The manor 
of Paddington was given in 1191, by the Abbot , 
Walter, to the Convent of St. Peter's, Westminster ; j 
and from the close of the thirteenth century the 
whole of the temporalities of the district, such as j 
the " rent of land and the young of animals," were j 
devoted to charity. We read that, in 1439, a | 
"head of water at Paddyngton" was granted to the 
Lord Mayor and citizens of London, and to their 1 
successors, by the Abbot of Westminster. On the 
abolition of the see of Westminster, shortly after 
its establishment, Edward VI. gave this manor to 
Ridley, Bishop of London, and his successors. It 
will be observed that the names of many of the 
streets around Paddington, especially to the north, ^ 
perpetuate the names of several successive Bishops ^ 
of London, such as Randolph, Howley, Blomfield, \ 
and Porteus. " Crescents and Colonnades," writes ^ 
Hone in his *' Table-Book," in 1827, "are planned 1 




by the architect to tke Bishop of London on the 1 
ground belonging to the see near Bayswater." 

The above-mentioned abbot of Westminster, 
iValter, appears to have purchased the interest in 
the soil here from two brothers, who were called 
respectively Richard and William de Padinton ; 
md on his death the manor of Paddington was 
issigned to the almoner for the celebration of his 
mniversary, when a solemn feast was to be held, 
rhe almoner for the time being was directed to find 
'or the convent " fine manchets, cakes, crumpets, 
:racknells, and wafers, and a gallon of wine for 
^ach friar, with three good pittances, or doles, with 
;ood ale in abundance at every table, and in the 
presence of the whole brotherhood ; in the same 
manner as upon other occasions the cellarer is 
bound to find beer at the usual feasts or anni. 
k^ersaries, in the great tankard of five quarts." 

Maitland, in his " History of London," tells us 
that, in 1439, "the Abbot of Westminster granted 
to Robert Large, the mayor, and citizens of London, 
md their successors, one head of water, containing 
twenty-six perches in length and one in breadth, 
together with all its springs in the manor of Pad- 
dington ; in consideration of which grant the City 
is for ever to pay to the said abbot and his suc- 
:essors, at the feast of St. Peter, two peppercorns. 
But if the intended work should happen to draw 
the water from the ancient wells in the manor of 
Hida, then the aforesaid grant to cease and become 
entirely void." Mr. Robins, in his " Paddington, 
Past and Present," remarks that, " although the 
abbots at length, and by slow degrees, acquired to 
themselves and their house, either with or without 
the sanction of the Crown, both spiritual and tem- 
poral dominion over these places, we must not 
imagine that all the tenements in Westboum and 
Paddington had been by this time transferred by 
the devout and the timid to their safe keeping ; for 
besides the few small holders, Avho obstinately pre- 
ferred their hereditary rights to works of charity or 
devotion, there is good reason to believe that the 
ancient family of De Veres held a considerable 
tract of land in this parish down to 146 1." 

The high road at Paddington must have presented 
an amusing spectacle in the year 1523, when the 
Prior of St. Bartholomew's and all his brethren, 
with the lay brethren, and an array of wagons and 
boats upon trucks, went along through Paddington 
towards Harrow, where they had resolved to re- 
main for two months, till the fatal day should 
have passed on which it was foretold that the 
Thames should suddenly rise and wash away half 
London ! 

During the Commonwealth " the manor of Pad- 

dington, w"" y* appurten'ces," was sold to one 
Thomas Browne, for the sum of three thousand 
nine hundred and fifty-eight pounds, seventeen 
shillings, and four pence; but when Dr. Sheldon 
was appointed to the bishopric of London, after 
the Restoration, he claimed the manor and also the 
rectory. Sheldon's relatives, it is stated, received 
the profits of the manor and rectory for nearly 
eighty years. 

" In the middle of the last century," says John 
Timbs, in his "Curiosities of London," "nearly the 
whole of Paddington had become grazing-land, 
upwards of 1,100 acres; and the occupiers of the 
bishop's estate kept here hundreds of cows." 

Robins, in his work on this parish, writes : — 
" The fact of Paddington, in Surrey, or ' Padendene,' 
as it was called, being mentioned in the Conqueror's 
survey,, while Paddington, in Middlesex, was not 
noticed, inclines me to believe the dene or den, in 
Surrey, was the original mark of the Poedings ; and 
that the smaller enclosure in Middlesex was at first 
peopled and cultivated by a migration of a portion 
of that family from the den, when it had become 
inconveniently full. ... At what period this 
migration happened," he adds, " it is impossible to 
say; but there is very httle doubt that the first 
settlement was made near the bourn, or brook, 
which ran through the forest." This brook, of 
which we have already had occasion to speak in a 
previous chapter, was, at the beginning of this 
century, a favourite resort for anglers. 

There is extant a curious etching of the old 
parish church of Paddington, dated 1750. It stood 
about eighty yards to the north of the present 
edifice, and its site may still be seen among the 
tombs, which were ranged inside and outside of it. 
It was a plain, neat building, of one aisle, consisting 
of only a nave, and with a bell-turret and spire ^t 
the west end, not unlike the type of the country 
churches of Sussex, and its picturesqueness was 
heightened by the dark foliage of an ancient yew- 

This church was built by Sir Joseph Sheldon and 
Daniel Sheldon, to whom the manor was leased by 
Sheldon, Bishop of London, and afterwards Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, in the reign of Charles II. » 
and it replaced a more ancient church, which had 
become "old and ruinous," and which was taken 
down about the year 1678. 

In this second church, which was dedicated to 
St. James, were married, on the 23rd of March, 
1729, Hogarth and Jane Thornhill, the daughter of 
Sir James Thornhill ; the marriage, it is said, was 
a runaway match, carried out much against the will 
of the bride's father. 




Mr. J. T. Smith, the antiquary, states that the 
walls of the demolished church were adorned with 
several texts from Scripture, in accordance with 
the instructions of Queen Elizabeth : — 

* ' And many a holy text around she strews 
To teach the rustic morahst to die." 

In 178S an Act was passed for rebuilding the 
parish church and enlarging the churchyard, and 
accordingly St. Mary's Church, on the Green, was 
erected. The preamble of the Act tells us that its 
predecessor " is a very ancient structure, and in 
such a decayed state that it cannot be effectually 
repaired, but must be taken down and rebuilt ; 
besides which, the same is so small, that one-fourth 
of the present inhabitants within the said parish 
cannot assemble therein for divine worship. _ The 
new church was built partly by subscription and 
partly by assessment of the inhabitants. 

A print of the church, in the Eiu'opean A/agazifie 
for January, 1793, shows the building exactly in its 
present state ; but on the other side of the road, 
opposite to the south entrance, is a large pond, in 
which stakes and rails stand up after the most 
rural fashion. The village stocks, too, are repre- 
sented in this engraving. So much admired was 
this church at the time when it was built, and so 
picturesque an object it is said to have been, " par- 
ticularly from the Oxford, Edgware, and Harrow 
Roads," that almost all the periodicals of the day 
noticed it. The following description of the build- 
ing, given in the Eicropean Magazine, was doubtless 
correct at the time it was written : — " It is seated 
on an eminence, finely embosomed in venerable 
elms. Its figure is composed of a square of about 
fifty feet. The centres, on each side of the square, 
are projecting parallelograms, which give recesses 
for an altar, a vestry, and two staircases. The roof 
terminates with a cupola and vane. On each of 
the sides is a door : that facing the south is deco- 
rated with a portico, composed of the Tuscan and 
Doric orders, having niches on the sides. The 
west has an arched window, under which is a 
circular portico of four columns, agreeable to the 
former composition." The church, in fact, is a 
nondescript building, though it pretends to be 
erected after a Greek model. 

The old and present churches are described 
(with illustrations) in the supplement to the Gcntle- 
mati's Magazine for 1795. The writer of the de- 
scription says that the monuments in the former 
building were transferred to a light vault under the 
new one. 

Lysons mentions the custom of loaves being 
thrown from the church tower to be scrambled for — 
a remnant, no doubt, of the old Easter " largess ; " 

and Priscilla Wakefield, in her " Perambulations of 
London" (1814), writes — "The strange custom 
is observed, on the Sunday before Christmas Day, 
of throwing bread from the church steeple, to be 
scrambled for by the populace, in consequence 
of a gift from two maiden ladies." Under date 
of Tuesday, December 21, 1736, the Grub Street 
Journal gives the following account of the " Bread 
and Cheese Charity : " — " On Sunday, after divine 
service, was performed the annual ceremony of 
throwing bread and cheese out of Paddington 
Church steeple among the spectators, and giving 
them ale. The custom was established by two 
women, who purchased five acres of land to the 
above use, in commemoration of the particular 
charity whereby they had been relieved when in 
extreme necessity." It is almost needless to add 
that this custom has long since been allowed to fall 
into disuse. 

The living of Paddington is said to have been 
formerly so small that it was a difficult task for the 
bishop to find anybody to discharge its duties. In 
fact, it would appear that during the Tudor and 
early Stuart reigns, the parson of Paddington did 
not come up even to the standard of Goldsmith's 
model — 

" Passing rich on forty pounds a year ; " 

for as late as the year 1626 its value was just ten 
pounds a year. Yet even its poverty had its 
advantages ; for when Bishop Aylmer's enemies, 
among other charges, accused him of ordaining his 
porter, the fact was admitted, but justified on the 
ground that the man was of honest life and con- 
versation, and proved to be an earnest and zealous 
pastor, by the scantiness of the stipend which he 
was content to receive, and less than he had 
actually received in a lay capacity. 

In the new burial-ground rest the remains of 
William Collins, R. A., the painter of "As Happy as 
a King," who died in 1847, at the age of fifty-nine; 
of Banks, the Royal Academician, the sculptor, who 
was buried here in 1805, at the age of seventy; 
and of George Barret, one of the founders of the 
Society of Painters in Water-Colours, who died in 
1842. Here, too, are buried the celebrated singers, 
Antonio Sapio and Antonio Zarra ; and at least one 
centenarian, John Hubbard, \\\\o is recorded on 
his tomb as having been born in 1554, and having 
died in 1665, at the ripe age of one hundred and 
eleven. Here, too, lies buried George Bushnell, 
the clever but vain and fantastic sculptor, to whom 
we owe the statues on Temple Bar, and who 
executed those of Charles I., Charles II., and Sir 
Thomas Gresham for the first Royal Excliange. 
In after life he embarked in several mad schemes, 

. \ 




which nearly ruined him ; among other " crazes " 
of his, which are recorded, is an attempt to build a 
model of the Trojan horse in wood and stucco ; 
the head was large enough to hold twelve men and 
a table, and the eyes served as windows. It cost 
;^5oo, and was demolished by a storm of wind ; 
and no entreaty could induce him to put the 
monster together again. He died in 1701. 

Mrs. Siddons and Benjamin Robert Haydon, 
the painter, lie quite at the northern end of the 
burial-ground, not far apart ; their monuments are 
simple and plain ; that of Haydon bears upon it a 
quotation from King Lear, in allusion to his life 
of fretful disappointment ; that of Mrs. Siddons is 
a flat stone, surrounded with a plain iron railing. 
We shall have more to say of Mrs. Siddons when 
we come to Upper Baker Street. With reference 
to Haydon, of whose last abode in Burwood Place 
we have spoken in the preceding chapter, we may 
state that he was the son of a bookseller, and was 
born at Plymouth in 1786. He came to London 
at the age of eighteen to seek his fortune — at all 
events, to make his way as a painter — bringing little 
with him except introductions to Northcote and 
Opie, the Royal Academicians. His career was 
eccentric and fitful ; at one time he basked in the 
sunshine of public favour, and then again lost it, 
and with it, what was worse, he lost heart. From 
time to time he exhibited historical pictures at the 
Egyptian Hall, and had the mortification of seeing 
them eclipsed by the most common-place sights 
which drew crowds together, whilst his pictures 
were neglected. The slight, added to the pressure 
of debt, was more than poor Haydon could stand, 
and on the 22nd of June he died in his own studio, 
by his own hand, in front of one of his historical 
paintings. "Thus died poor Haydon," says his 
biographer, " in the sixty-first year of his age, after 
forty-two years of struggles, strivings, conflicts, 
successes, imprisonments, appeals to ministers, to 
Parliament, to patrons, to the public, self-illusions, 
and bitter disappointments." His first picture was 
exhibited in 1807 ; the subject of it, "Joseph and 
Mary resting with our Saviour after a Day's Journey 
on the Road to Egypt." It was sold; and the next 
year he exhibited the celebrated "Dentatus," which 
he considered badly hung by the Royal Academi- 
cians, and forthwith proceeded to make enemies of 
those forty potentates of art — a most imprudent 
step for so young an artist to take. Lord Mulgrave 
bought " Dentatus ; " and in the following year it 
obtained the prize at the British Institution, and 
soon became very popular. The "Judgment of 
Solomon " appeared next ; but during its progress 
Haydon's resources failed, and the directors of the 

British Institution voted him a present of one 
hundred guineas. Previous to this the artist had for 
some time devoted ten or twelve hours a day to the 
study of the Elgin marbles, which had just arrived 
in England ; and he wrote and talked about them 
so enthusiastically and eloquently that he mainly 
contributed to their being purchased for the nation. 
He went, accompanied by Wilkie, to Paris in 18 14, 
to study at the Louvre, and on his return com- 
menced his largest work, " Christ entering into 
Jerusalem." This picture was exhibited in 1820, 
both in London and the provinces, to visitors at a 
shilling each, and he gained a considerable sum by 
it. It was considered a triumph of modern art. 
But, with all his acknowledged powers, Haydon 
mistook or disdained to follow the more certain 
path to fame and fortune. While his more success- 
ful brethren were engaged on cabinet pictures, 
his works were on too large a scale to be hung in 
private rooms ; hence, the orders he obtained were 
comparatively few, and he became embarrassed. 

In 1827, Haydon gave the following melancholy 
account of the fate of his great pictures : — " My 
' Judgment of Solomon ' is rolled up in a ware- 
house in the Borough ! My 'Entry into Jerusalem,' 
once graced by the enthusiasm of the rank and 
beauty of the three kingdoms, is doubled up in a 
back room in Holborn ! My ' Lazarus ' is in an 
upholsterer's shop in Mount Street ! and my 
* Crucifixion ' is in an hay-loft in Lisson Grove ! " 

In 1832, Haydon painted at Paddington his great 
picture of the " Reform Banquet ; " and here most 
of the leading Whigs — Macaulay, among others — 
gave him sittings. 

Few diaries are more sad than that which 
Haydon kept, and which accumulated to twenty- 
six large MS. volumes. At one time he mourned 
over the absence of wealthy patrons for his pictures; 
at another, of some real or fancied slight he had 
received from other painters ; while in his entries 
repeated reference was made to debts, creditors, 
insolvencies, applications to friends for loans — in 
fact, despondency marked every line. 

And now the time arrived when his cup of 
bitterness overflowed. One great and honourable 
ambition he had cherished — to illustrate the walls 
of the new Houses of Parliament with historical 
pictures ; but this professional eminence was 
denied to him, and the rejection of his cartoon by 
the Royal Commission was the death-blow to his 
hopes. He would have borne up had he but 
realised the hope of painting one of the frescoes, 
or been cheered under his disappointment by 
popular support ! 

Such was the mental condition of the unhappy 



painter in the early part of the year 1846, when 
the so-called "General Tom Thumb" came to 
England. Haydon had then just finished a large 
picture, on which he had long been engaged, 
"The Banishment of Aristides." He hoped by it 
to redeem his fallen fortunes, and to reheve him- 
self of some of his debts, by exhibiting the picture 
in London. He engaged a room in the Egyptian 
Hall, under the same roof where " Tom Thumb '' 

my bills and caravan, but do not read them ; their 
eyes are on them, but their sense is gone. It is 
an insanity, z. furor, a dream, of which I would not 
have believed England could have been guilty." 

Mr. Cyrus Redding thus speaks, in his "Fifty 
Years' Reminiscences," of Paddington Green and 
its churchyard in the year 1806 : — " At such times 
I crossed Paddington Green, and the new part 
of the churchyard, since thickly encumbered with 



was attracting crowds, and sent out invitations to 
several distinguished persons and critics to attend 
a private view. The following entry in his diary 
on April 4th showed how acutely the poor man 
felt his comparative want of success: — "Opened; 
rain hard ; only Jerrold, Baring, Fox Maule, and 
Hobhouse came. Rain would not have kept them 
away twenty-six years ago. Comparison : — 

" 1st day of ' Christ entering Jerusalem,' 1820 . . /"19 16 o 
1st day of ' Banishment of Aristides,' 1846 .. 116 
I trust in God, Amen !" 

Shortly afterwards Haydon wrote — and we can 
readily imagine the spirit in which he jotted down 
the lines — " They rush by thousands to see Tom 
Thumb. They push, they fight, they scream, they 
faint, they cry ' Help ! ' and ' Murder ! ' They see 

memorials of the dead.. There were then only 
three or four tombstones to be seen in that part. 
One nearest the iron palisades was placed by j 
Lord Petre in memory of an excellent man and 
scholar. Dr. Geddes. He was the author of a new 
translation of some part of the Holy Scriptures. 
The "Catholics and High Church Protestants did 
not approve of his conduct, because, in place of 
vindicating the authority of their churches in 
matters of religion, he supported the right of 
private judgment. His stone I saw in perfect 
preservation but a few years ago, in the same 
place as at first. It must have been designedly 
removed. Perhaps the epitaph displeased some 
strait-laced official. I will repeat it from mftnory, 
though I am not certain I am correct to a word. 






' Christian is iny name, Catholic my surname. If 
I cannot greet thee as a disciple of Jesus, still I 
should love thee as my fellow-man.' " 

The Church of St. Mary ceased to be the parish 
church of Paddington in 1845, ^^'^^en it was super- 
seded by the new Church of St. James, at the 
west end of Oxford and Cambridge Terraces, and 
the south end of Westbourne Terrace. " By these 
means,"' says the Report of 1840, "accommodation 
will be provided for 4,000 persons, or including 
Bayswater Chapel, which may hereafter be made a 
parochial chapel, for more than 5,000 persons, in a 
parish supposed to contain 20,000 souls." The 
edifice, we are informed, was originally designed 
for a secular building, but was altered to suit the 
'■taste of the times." In 1844-46 was built a new 
church, in the elaborate Gothic style, dedicated to 
the Holy Trinity, in Gloucester Gardens, Bishop's 
Road. It is a large church, capable of accommo- 
dating nearly 1,600 worshippers, and is built in 
the "Perpendicular" style of architecture, from 
the designs of Mr. Cundy. It has a very richly 
crocketed spire and pinnacled tower, upwards of 
200 feet high, and a beautiful stained glass window 
in the chancel. The crypt is said to be on a level 
with the roofs of the houses in Belgrave Square. 
This fabric is the "pet church of Paddington," 
and its "fair proportions and elegance of form" 
were said in those days to be "pleasing to the 
eye of all who admire the architectural art." The 
building cost nearly ^20,000. In 1847, All Saints' 
Church was erected in Cambridge Place, at the end 
of Star Street. It occupies a portion of the site of 
the old Grand Junction Waterworks' reservoir. 

There is an ancient house still standing at the 
right-hand corner of Old Church Street, going from 
Paddington Green. The uppermost storey of the 
building slightly overhangs the lower one, and the 
ground surrounding the house has been so raised 
that a descent of a step has to be made on going 
into it. In this house, which was for some time a 
disagreeable-looking butcher's shop, and now serves 
as the office of the district surveyor, lived formerly 
the religious fanatic, Richard Brothers, who is said 
to have represented himself to be the " Nephew of 
God, and His prophet and preacher." His grave 
is in St. John's Wood Churchyard, appropriately 
opposite that of Joanna Southcote. 

Paddington has long been noted for its old 
public-houses. In the etching above referred to is 
represented, apparently about a hundred yards to 
the south-west of the church, a large and lofty 
building, presumably an inn, as a large sign-board 
projects into the street in front. This there can 
be little difficulty in identifying with the " Dudley 

Arms," in Dudley Grove, Harrow Road, or, at all 
events, with its predecessor on the same spot. At 
the corner of Old Church Street and the Edgware 
Road is the " Wheatsheaf " Tavern. There is an 
engraving extant of this old tavern, which repre- 
sents it as a lowly, thatched, roadside hostelry; 
and, notwithstanding the visits of Ben Jonson, 
tradition says the house bore no very good repute, 
as both that and the old " Pack-horse," in the 
Harrow Road, were the favourite resorts of the 
masked and mounted gentlemen who made the 
(Jxbridge and Edgware Roads perilous to travellers 
down to the close of the last century. 

The "White Lion," another old tavern in the 
Edgware Road, dates from 1524, "the year when 
hops were first imported." George Morland is said 
to have been the painter of the sign of the "White 
Lion," which used to hang in front of this tavern, 
where he used to carouse, along with his friends 
Ibbetson and Rathbone. At the " Red Lion," 
near the Harrow Road, tradition says that Shake- 
speare acted as a strolling player ; another " Red 
Lion," formerly near the Harrow Road bridge over 
the bourn, is described in an " inquisition " dated 
as far back as the reign of Edward VI. 

As recently as 1840, the year of the opening of 
the Great Western Railway, a wide and open space 
of land in this vicinity was occupied by market and 
nursery gardens, and the red-tiled weather-boarded 
cottages of labourers and laundresses. Eight or 
ten years later, the appearance of the district was 
entirely changed : terraces and squares of fine 
houses had risen up in every direction west of the 
bourn ; but the approaches to it from the Edgware 
Road, whether by Praed Street or the Harrow 
Road, were very deplorable. They are not much 
better even now ; but as the grimy-looking houses 
at the entrance to the Harrow Road are in the 
course of removal, some improvement will eventually 
be brought about. We are -informed, by a resident 
of some years' standing, that " anything more dis- 
graceful than the appearance of the portion that 
remained of old Paddington Green it is impossible 
to imagine ; all the refuse of the neighbourhood 
was heaped upon it, and the hollows filled with 
stagnant* water, which made the place horrible to 
every sense. It was the play-ground of idle boys, 
and children uncared-for and squalid, who spent 
the day in fighting, swearing, shouting, crying, and 
throwing stones, so as to make the passing-by as 
dangerous as it was disagreeable. On all Sundays, 
and, in summer time, on week-day evenings, two 
or three self-constituted preachers, whose doctrines 
were as extraordinary as their English, were wont 
to establish themselves there, and rant and voci- 




ferate even louder than the boys ; and, not unfre- 
quently, a bold Freethinker stood up in opposition 
to them to propagate his reckless creed." 

In 1865 the ground was at last enclosed and 
ornamentally laid out, and in the summer of the 
next year it was thrown open to the public. How 
great the improvement to the neighbourhood can 
be known only to those who saw it in the days of 
its degradation. The fine old houses skirting the 
further side of the Green put on a renovated ap- 
pearance, and rents rose immediately ; and now, 
instead of squalor and unruliness, decently-dressed 
people and children daily enjoy the grassy lawns, 
and flower-beds, and seats beside the gravel paths, 
and order and neatness reign there. The poor, 
too, are not excluded. 

The Vestry Hall is another improvement of the 
last ten years ; and the building of St. Mary Mag- 
dalene's Church another. 

On Paddington Green was for some years the 
residence of Thomas Uwins, R.A., and here he 
painted his picture of " The Little Girl in the 
Brigand's Hat," so well known to us by the en- 
graver's art. Here, too, was the studio of AVyatt, 
in which the equestrian statue of the Duke of 
Wellington, now at Hyde Park Corner, was moulded. 
The Rev. J. Richardson records, in his amusing 
" Recollections," the fact that twelve gentlemen 
sat down to a repast in the interior of the horse, 
like the Greeks in the belly of the Trojan horse, in 
imitation of Virgil's ^^neid. 

Literature and art have been represented among 
the inhabitants of this neighbourhood. Robert 
Browning has lived for some time in Warwick 
Crescent ; and the venerable Chevalier de Chate- 
lain, who has done useful work in translating 
various poems, and also Shakespeare's works, into 
French, resides next door to him, at Castelnau 
Lodge. At one time Mr. Babbage was resident 
here ; and close by the canal lived the great line- 
engraver, Henry Robinson. George Colman, too, 
died here ; he was buried, as already mentioned, 
at Kensington."* The Princess Charlotte was an 
occasional visitor at Dudley House, Paddington 
Green. The fields about there were pleasant places 
for a country ramble, even at the beginning of the 
present century. The auther of the " Old City " 
writes : — " On a September day in 1807, I was 
walking on the banks of the Grand Junction Canal, 
at Paddington, and then quite in the country, when 
a plain private carriage drew up. Two ladies, one 
very young, and the other of middle age, got out, 
ai^ commenced promenading. It was the Princess 

* See ante, p. 129. 

Charlotte and her governess, the Duchess of North- 
umberland, I think. They were both in plain 
morning dress, and evidently sought to avoid notice. 
The princess, tall and stout for her age (she was 
then eleven), wore a white muslin frock, and a straw 
bonnet, crossed by a plain white satin riband. The 
waist of the frock, according to the ugly fashion of 
the time, was placed high up under her arms, much 
as may be seen in her more mature portrait by 
Sir Thomas Lawrence. Her forehead was broad 
and rather high, her face full, and her nose promi- 
nent, but not disagreeably so. She might have 
been styled pleasing, but she had no pretensions 
to beauty ; and she was more womanly than is usual 
with girls of the same age. She frequently asked 
questions of her elder companion, and the tones of 
her voice were soft and musical. Once, apparently 
forgetting her studied school-step, she was breaking 
into a run, but the duchess checked her by a look, 
and the decorous step was resumed. For a few 
minutes she escaped notice, but the instant that 
her rank was known, importunate promenaders 
began to throng about, and soon obliged her and 
the duchess to beat a retreat to the carriage." It 
is satisfactory to find that the fathers and grand- 
fathers of the present generation were quite as 
ill-mannered and vulgar as the Englishmen and 
Englishwomen who " mobbed " Queen Adelaide 
when she paid a visit to the palm-house at Kew, 
or intruded their gaze upon Queen Victoria at 
Brighton, on her accession to the throne, and so 
drove her from the place. Dudley House is kept 
in remembrance by the " Dudley Arms " Tavern 
and Dudley Grove, in the Harrow Road. 

At the close of the last century, Mrs, Hutchins 
and Mr. Samuel Pepys Cockerell were the two 
principal residents in Westbourne Green ; and Pad- 
dington Green boasted John Chamberlain and 
John Symonds amongst its inhabitants. 

Paddington House is described, at the com- 
mencement of the present century, as " a handsome 
brick edifice, on the east side of the Green." It is 
said to have been built by a certain Mr. Dennis 
Chirac, who, having made a fortune as jeweller to 
Queen Anne, chose late in life to retire here into 
the country. Having long since been converted 
into shops, it was pulled down in 1876. 

Hone, in his " Every-Day Book," mentions 
Paddington as one of the suburbs of London 
which formerly were enlivened by the "Jack in the 
Green on May Day." " The last specimens of the 
'Jacks in the Green' that I remember," he writes, 
in 1827, "were at the Paddington May-dance, near 
the 'Yorkshire Stingo,' about twenty years ago, 
whence, as I heard, they diverged to Bayswater, 




Kentish Town, and the adjoining neighbourhood. 
A ' Jack o' the Green ' ahvays carried a long walking- 
stick with floral wreaths ; he whisked it about in 
the dance, and afterwards walked with it in high 
estate, like a Lord Mayor's footman." We have 
already mentioned the May-pole in our account of 
the Strand.* 

"It was a pleasant sight to see 
A little village company 
Drawn out upon the first of May 
To have their annual holyday : 
The pole hung round with garlands gay, 
The young ones footing it away ; 
The aged cheering their old souls 
With recollections and their bowls, 
Or, on the mirth and dancing failing, 
Then ofttimes told old tales re-taleing." — Hone. 

Westbourne Place, situated close to the Green, 
was the residence, successively, of Isaac Ware (the 
architect, and editor of Palladio's works) ; of Sir 
William Yorke, Chief Justice of the Court of 
Common Pleas ; of J. Coulson, Esq. ; of Mr. 
Samuel Pepys Cockerell ; and, lastly, of the veteran 
Peninsular General, Lord Hill, who here entertained 
William IV. and Queen Adelaide. In the Uni- 
versal Magazine for September, 1793, appears the 
following notice of the mansion and its surround- 
ings : — " Westbourne Place, the handsome villa of 
Jukes Coulson, Esq., an eminent anchor-smith in 
Thames Street, London, is situated at Westbourne 
Green, one mile and a half from Tyburn Turnpike, 
and three-quarters of a mile from the new church 
at Paddington. This green is one of those beauti- 
fully rural spots for which that parish, although 
contiguous to the metropolis, is distinguished. The 
house is situated on a rising ground, which com- 
mands a pleasing view of Hampstead and High- 
gate ; the village of Paddington, with the elegant 
new church, produces a pretty effect when viewed 
from hence ; and as no part of London can be 
seen, a person disposed to enjoy the pleasures of 
rural retirement might here forget his proximity to 
the ' busy hum of men.' The house was built by 
Mr. Isaac Ware, who quitted the ignoble profession 
of a chimney-sweeper, and commencing the man 
of science and taste, was employed in building 
many houses, and distinguished himself, moreover, 
by some books on the subject of architecture. 
The gardens and pleasure-grounds are laid out 
with great taste; and close to Mr. Coulson's 
elegant mansion is a farm-house, which is occu- 
pied as an occasional country residence by the 
Most Noble George Grenville Nugent, Marquis of 

• See Vol. III., p. 87. 

Hughson, who published his " History of London 
and its Neighbourhood" in 1809, and who, by the 
way, does not appear to have had a single sub- 
scriber for his work in this neighbourhood, writes 
of Westbourne Green, that " it is one of those 
beautifully rural spots for which Paddington is 
distinguished. It occupies rising ground, and com- 
mands a lovely view of Hampstead and Highgate, 
with the distant city. An important mansion, 
called Westbourne Place, is situated here, built 
by that born architect, Isaac Ware, the editor of 
Palladio's works, who, originally a sweep, became 
conspicuous as a student of art and science, and 
the proprietor of the estate of Westbourne Green." 
Mr, Coulson inhabited Westbourne Place when 
Hughson wrote. At that time this house and 
gardens must have occupied the ground on which 
the Lock Hospital stands ; this institution remain- 
ing at Grosvenor Place till 1842. "In the reign 
of William IV.," Avrites the Rev. J. Richardson, in 
his " Recollections," "this spot was really what its 
name implied," a green. It was not built over till 
long into the reign of Queen Victoria. 

Desborough Place, a small row of the houses 
to be seen on the south-west side of the Harrow 
Road, before reaching the Lock Hospital, adjoins 
an old mansion, now partly pulled down, called 
Desborough House, after John Desborough, or 
Disbrowe, the brother-in-law of the "Lord Pro- 
tector Cromwell " — that " ploughman Desborough," 
as Oliver would often style him, half in jest and 
half in earnest. 

There is a discrepancy between Robins and Mr. 
Peter Cunningham as to the whereabouts of Mrs. 
Siddons' residence in Paddington, the one placing 
her in Desborough Lodge, the other in a house 
and grounds levelled to make room for the Great 
Western Railway ; but Incledon, the singer, de- 
scribes a visit to the great tragediejine, at her villa 
on " Westbourne Green," which is situated at the 
top of the Harrow Road, close to the Lock Hos- 
pital, and where formerly several genteel houses 
stood \ but now only the name remains. 

Westbourne Farm — for so, as we have stated 
previously, Mrs. Siddons' cottage was called — was 
standing down to about the year i860, when it was 
demolished to make room for a row of shops and 
houses. It was a little retired house in a garden, 
screened with poplars and other trees, resembling a 
modest rural vicarage. This was at one time the 
residence of Madame Vestris ; but, before her, Mrs. 
Siddons liked to withdraw here from the noise and 
din of London. The following amusing descript\pn 
of the place is said to be from the pen of her 
husband : — 




"On Mrs. Siddons' Cottage at Westbourne. 

" Would you I'd Westbourne Farm describe? 
I'll do it, then, and free from gall ; 
For sure it would be sin to gibe 
A thing so pretty and so small. 

'•' A poplar-walk, if you have strength, 
Will take a minute's time to step it ; 
Nay, certes 'tis of such a length 

'Twould almost tire a frog to leap it. 

' ' But when the pleasure-ground is seen, 
Then what a burst comes on the view ! 
Its level walk, its shaven green, 

For which a razor's stroke would do. 

" Now, pray be cautious when you enter. 

And curb your strides with much expansion ; 
Three paces take you to the centre ; 
Three more, you're close against the mansion. 

' ' The mansion, cottage, house, or hut — 
Call't what you will — has room within 
To lodge the King of Lilliput, 

But not his court nor yet his queen. 

" The kitchen-garden, true to keeping. 

Has length, and breadth, and width in plenty ; 
A snail, if fairly set a-creeping. 

Could scarce go round while you told twenty. 

" Perhaps you'll cry, on hearing this, 
'What, everything so verj' small !' 
No ; she that made it what it is 

Has greatness that makes up for all." 

The great actress was certainly living here in 
1S06, and the following year, for Cyrus Redding 
thus mentions her abode, in his " Fifty Years' 
Recollections : " — " I did not slumber in bed, often 
rising at four o'clock, walking to Manchester Square, 
calling up a friend there, and then going into the 
country to an inn near Mrs. Siddons' villa, a little 
on the town side of Kensal Green, but then far in 
the green fields. We breakfasted together. I 
returned to Gough Square, sometimes before my 
fellow-lodger had left his bed, and generally before 
ten o'clock ; thus I gained six hours on the day." 

The Lock Hospital and Asylum, which stand 
on the opposite side of the Harrow Road, derive 
their name from the ** Loke," or " Lock," in Kent 
Street, Southwark, an ancient hospital for lepers. 
The name may have been derived, as suggested 
by a writer in Notes and Queries, from the old 
French word loqucs, " rags " — referring to the linen 
rags applied to sores ; but with more probability 
it comes, as Archer is inclined to believe, in his 
"Vestigia," from the Saxon log or loc, equivalent 
to " shut," or " closed," in reference to the isolated 
condition of the leper. 

This hospital was founded in 1746, and the 
asylum about forty years later, mainly by the 
efforts of the Rev. Thomas Scott, the well-kno^vn 

Biblical commentator ; and it is mentioned in 
Strype's edition of "Stow," in 1765, as being "at 
Pimlico." It was removed hither from Grosvenor 
Place* in 1842. A chapel has been attached to it 
since 1764. In 1849 its authorities were able to 
double the number of patients and penitents, 
through the help of the late Duke of Cambridge, 
who issued an autograph appeal on behalf of the 
charity. This establishment is in reality a branch 
of the Lock Hospital, and is intended for the 
reception of females only : the branch for males is 
situated in Dean Street, Soho. From the published 
report, we learn that since the foundation of the 
asylum, the institution has been the means of 
giving the advantages of domestic training to 
about three thousand females. During the year 
1S75, no less than fifty young women were fitted 
for service, nearly all of whom have given satis- 
factory proof of real amendment by their conduct 
in their situations ; whilst of those sent out in 
previous years, many have earned the reward given 
by the committee of the institution for remaining 
twelve months in the same situation ; several 
have been restored to friends ; whilst others have 
testified to the great change that has been effected 
in them by contributing from their scanty earnings 
to the support of the institution, which has rescued 
them from a life of misery. The buildings here 
cover a large extent of ground, and the gardens 
surrounding them are well planted with trees and 

Although not in the immediate vicinity of the 
Lock Hospital, it may not be altogether out of 
place here to speak of one or two other institutions, 
devoted to charitable purposes, which exist in the 
parish. St. Mary's Hospital, originally styled the 
Marylebone and Paddington Hospital, stands in 
Cambridge Place, on a site which once formed 
the reservoir of the Grand Junction Waterworks, 
between the Great Western Railway Terminus and 
the Harrow Road, in the centre of a crowded 
neighbourhood. The first stone was laid by the 
Prince Consort, in June, 1845, ^^<i the first ward 
was opened in 1850. It is built of red brick, with 
stone dressings, and Avas erected from the designs 
of Mr. Thomas Hopper and JMr. J. H. Wyatt. The 
building will accommodate iSo beds, and in its 
construction the greatest attention was paid to the 
ventilation and warming. Twelve hundred cubic 
feet of space, at least, is allotted to each bed. This 
is the only general hospital for an extensive and 
populous district of the metropolis, and its doors are 
ever open for the relief of the sick and maimed. 

* See p. 14, anic. 




It receives annually, as in-patients, about i,8oo 
cases of serious accident or disease, and as out- 
patients and casualties about 20,000. All poor 
persons applying for relief for accident or disease 
of extreme urgency, are admissible, after due ex- 
amination, without any letter of recommendation. 
The laws of the institution provide that there shall 
be " a chaplain, who is required to be in full 
orders in the Church of England ; and, in addition 
to the ordinary duties of his office in ministering to 

is responsible to the board for his good conduct." 
The laws, it may be added, are framed in the 
most liberal spirit towards the medical profession. 
"The medical committee consists of the ten prin- 
cipal medical officers in the various departments 
of the hospital for the time being, and ten medical 
governors of the charity who do not hold any 
office in the hospital or hospital school, elected 
annually. All legally qualified medical and surgical 
practitioners, being governors, are eligible to be 


the spiritual wants of the inmates of the hospital, 
he is to be the principal of the collegiate establish- 
ment." The staff of the hospital, according to 
the original report, consists of three physicians, 
three assistant physicians, three surgeons, three 
assistant surgeons, a physician-accoucheur, a sur- 
geon-accoucheur, an ophthalmic surgeon, and an 
aural surgeon. The laws of the hospital provide 
for four resident medical officers, all of whom are 
to be fully qualified medical practitioners. 

" In the Hospital Medical School and Medical 
Collegiate Establishment the determination of the 
course of education, the rules and regulations for 
the government and conduct of the pupils, and the 
appointment of all lecturers and teachers, is vested, 
under the advice of the medical committee, in the 
governors at large ; and every pupil of tlie school 

members of this committee ; and legally qualified 
medical and surgical practitioners, whether gover- 
nors or not, are at liberty, on a proper introduction, 
to attend the practice of the hospital. The medical 
governors are also at liberty to attend all lectures 
delivered by the teachers in the hospital school; 
and if residing within half a mile of the hospital, 
they are entitled to be summoned to all important 
operations, on paying a trifling contribution towards 
the expense of summoning. Thus the medical pro- 
fession at large has every opportunity to form its 
opinion of the principles and practice taught in the 
hospital, an efficient voice in the management of 
the medical affairs of the institution, and a direct 
influence in the system of education to be adopted 
in the hospital school, of which their own sons or 
private pupils might be members." 

Paddiiigton. 1 








St. Mary's Hospital, being without endowment, 
is supported entirely by the voluntary contributions 
and donations of the public at large ; and when 
the number of patients annually relieved is taken 
into consideration, it is easy to imagine that the ex- 
penses of the institution are very great, amounting 
as they do to something like ;/■ 10,000 annually. 
Within a short distance of St. Mary's is another 
charitable institution, the Paddington Provident 
Dispensary, which dates its career of usefulness 
from the year 1838. Upwards of 7,000 persons 
are relieved here during the course of the year. 
Another very useful charity in the neighbourhood 
is the Dudley Stuart " Home for the Houseless," 
in :Market Street, close by. Here a temporary 
home is afforded to destitute and houseless persons 
of good character, and means are adopted for 
restoring them to their position in life. 

There is a chapel in the Harrow Road, on the 
south side, at the entrance to Paddington Green ; 
it is for the use of the Irvingites, or members 
of the Apostolic Church; and among those set 
apart for the use of other denominations is one 
called " The Boatman's Chapel," which stands 
on ground leased to the Grand Junction Canal 
Company. "This place of worship," Mr. Robins 
tells us, in his book on Paddington, "was con- 
structed out of a stable and coach-house, at the 
expense of a few pious individuals, who saw how 
much the poor boatmen wanted the advantages 
which accrue from religious instruction, and how 
little likely they were to get it in a parish-church, 
which could not hold one-fourth part of the settled 
inhabitants. This little place of worship is in 
connection with ' Paddington Chapel ' — a place of 
worship belonging to the Independents." 

The formation of the Great Western Railway 
caused a slight diversion of the Harrow Road, 
which was carried by a bridge over the canal, and 
so round by what is now Blomfield Terrace to 
Westbourne Green. It is on record that John 
Lyon, the founder of Harrow School, left forty 
acres of land in tlie parish of Marylebone, and 
another plot at Kilburn, for the purpose of re- 
pairing the roads between London, Harrow, and 
Edgware ; and now the rents of Hamilton Terrace, 
Abercorn Place, &c., are applied to the purpose. 

The road, at a little distance from London, was 
a dangerous one, being infested by footpads as 
recently as the year 1S27, when Mr. AUardin, a 
respectable veterinary surgeon, residing at Lisson 
Grove, was made to dismount from his horse, 
robbed, and brutally ill-treated, about a mile from 
Paddington Green. 

On the north side of the Harrow Road, a short 

distance beyond the Lock Hospital, a model town 
has sprung up within the last two years, under the 
auspices of the Artisans', Labourers', and General 
Dwellings Company. Queen"s Park — for so this 
batch of dwellings is called — occupies a site about 
eighty acres in extent, and the houses are designed 
to accommodate no less than 16,000 persons. This 
model city has (or will have) its own lecture- 
hall and institute, its co-operative stores, coal- 
depot, dairy-farm, baths and wash-houses, and 
other buildings. It is the intention of the pro- 
moters of the company that there shall be no 
public-house on the estate ; while, at the same 
time, every opportunity will be taken to promote 
and develop temperance principles by the forma- 
tion of temperance societies and " bands of hope ;" 
and reading-rooms, discussion clubs, libraries, and 
other substitutes for " the house round the corner," 
will be a marked feature. This certainly is a sign 
of improvement from the state of things which 
existed a quarter of a century ago ; for, apart 
from the public estabUshments to which we have 
referred above, there were no places for rational 
amusement — unless, indeed, we consider such places 
as the " Flora Tea-gardens," and " Bott's Bowling- 
green," to come under this designation. " In that 
region of the parish, still devoted to bull-dogs and 
pet spaniels," writes Mr. Robins in 1853, "the 
bodies of broken-down carriages, old wheels, rusty 
grates, and old copper boilers, little gardens, and 
low miserable sheds, there is an establishment 
which boasts of having the truly attractive glass, in 
which, ' for the small charge of two-pence, any 
young lady may behold her future husband.' But 
although such attractions as these exist, the youths 
who live on the celebrated Paddington estate have 
not to thank the lords of the soil for setting apart 
any portion of it for their physical improvement. 
In Paddington there is no public gymnasium ; there 
is now no village-green worthy of the name ; the 
young are not trained to use their motive powers 
to the best advantage ; there are no public baths. 
And when, on the establishment of the baths and 
wash-houses in Mar)'lebone, the governing body in 
Paddington was solicited to join in that useful 
work, that good offer was rejected, and the people 
of Marylebone were permitted to carry out that 
necessary and useful undertaking by themselves." 
In 1874, however, any difficulties that may have 
existed with reference to the above subject were 
surmounted, and some extensive baths and wash- 
houses were erected in the Queen's Road, at a 
cost, inclusive of land, of about ^40,000. 

In the Harrow Road, on a portion of what had 
been Paddington Green, stood, till about i860, the 




oldest charitable building in the parish 3 it was a 
block of small almshouses, said to have been built 
in 1 7 14. It afforded shelter for sixteen poor old 
women belonging to the parish, who were supported 
there out of the poor-rates. The inmates, doubt- 
less, felt themselves more "at home" here than 
they would do if compelled to take up their quarters 
in the great parish poor-house, which is situated on 
a portion of the land once known as " The Upper 
Readings," purchased by the Bishop of London 
and the trustees of the Paddington estate, imme- 
diately to the west of the Lock Hospital. In the 
end, however, the almshouses were swept away in 
the course of parochial improvements. 

Running westward through the parish, almost in 
a line with the Harrow Road, is the Paddington 
and Grand Junction Canal. The success of the 
Duke of Bridgewater's canal between Liverpool and 
Manchester led to the passing of an Act of Parlia- 
ment, in 1795, ^or ttie formation of the Paddington 
Canal, which was opened for traffic on the ist of 
June, 1801, when the first barge arrived, with 
passengers from Uxbridge, at the Paddington basin. 
There were public rejoicings, and all the north- 
western suburb was en fete in honour of the occa- 
sion. Bells were rung, flags were hung out, and 
cannon were fired j and one enthusiastic Padding- 
tonian had good reason to remember the day, for 
the gun which he was firing burst and shattered 
his arm. But the Grand Junction Canal Company 
were so elated at the thought of the public benefit 
which they had bestowed on the country, that 
they took a classical motto from Horace : — 

" iEque pauperibus prodest, locupletibus reque." 

In 1853, Mr. Robins, in his work above referred 
to, writes: — "The glory of the first public company 
which shed its influence over Paddington has, in a 
great measure, departed ; the shares of the Grand 
Junction Canal Company are below par, though 
the traffic on this silent highway to Paddington is 
still considerable ; and the cheap trips into the 
country oftered by its means during the summer 
months are beginning to be highly appreciated by 
the people, who are pent in close lanes and alleys ; 
and I have no doubt the shareholders' dividends 
would not be diminished by a more liberal atten- 
tion to this want. If every one had their right," 
continues the ^\Titer, " I am told there would be a 
wharf adjoining this canal, open free of cost to the 
people of Paddington for loading and unloading 
goods. It is certain that the old road to Harrow 
was never leased to the Grand Junction Canal 
Company ; but a wharf, upwards of one hundred 
feet wide, now exists in a portion of that road ; 

and, as I am informed, the rent of this wharf is 
not received by the parish." At its first opening, 
passenger boats went about five times a week 
from Paddington to Uxbridge; and the whar\-es 
at Paddington presented for some years a most 
animated and busy appearance, on account of the 
quantity of goods warehoused there for transit to 
and from the metropolis, causing the growth of 
an industrious population around them. But this 
was only a brief gleam of prosperity, for when the 
Regent's Canal was opened, the goods were con- 
veyed by barges straight to the north and eastern 
suburbs, and the wharfage-ground at Paddington 
suffered a great deterioration in consequence. 

In 181 2 the Regent's Canal was commenced. 
This undertaking, which was completed and opened 
in 1820, begins at Paddington, and passing under 
the Edgware Road, Maida Hill, and St. John's 
Wood, by a tunnel 372 yards in length, opens 
into a basin near the "Jew's Harp;" thence the 
canal passes on to Camden Town and Islington, 
and then by a tunnel into the City Road, by 
Kingsland and Hackney, and so on to Stepney 
Fields and Limehouse, where it joins the Thames. 
In its course through London there are no less 
than twelve locks and about forty bridges. " On 
the banks of the canal," says Mr. John Timbs, 
" the immense heaps of dust and ashes, once 
towering above the house-tops, are said to have 
been worth ;;{^io,ooo a heap." 

At the western extremity of the parish an 
artesian well was formed, to which the name of 
" The Western Water-works " was given. The 
water from this well supplied the houses which 
were built on that clayey district ; the West 
Middlesex and Grand Junction Water-works Com- 
panies supplying the other parts of this parish. 

In 1824 gas was first introduced into the parish, 
on the establishment of the Imperial Gas Company. 
Up to this time, during the long winter evenings, 
the muddy roads which led to the cottages on the 
Paddington estate were in total darkness, unless 
the " parish lantern " chanced to ofter its accept- 
able light. The parish surveyors, in a report to the 
vestry on the state of these cottages, in 1S16, say 
— "We cannot refrain from thus recording our ex- 
pression of regret that the ground-landlords should 
be so inordinate in their demands ; the effect of 
which is, the buildings are ill-calculated to afford 
shelter from the inclemency of the weather, and 
the want of drainage and consequent damp produce 
disease, filth, and \\Tetchedness." The cottages 
here referred to, which were for many years so 
prominent a feature in the parish, and so much 
sought after by the poor, as a sort of " country 



retreat,-"' were, at the beginning of this century, the 
generators of "disease, filth, and wretchedness." 

As a proof of the poverty-stricken character of the 
inhabitants of Paddington, it may be stated that a 
wretched hovel here was, in 1 8 1 3, the scene of the 
death of a well-known beggar at the West End, 
and that upwards of ^200 was found hoarded up 
in his chests — a sum which v/as claimed by a 
female partner of his trade. Among his effects 
was a paper in which were recorded the various 
profits which he had made in different parts of 
London by begging — a most interesting and curious 
document, and one well worthy of the attention of 
the Society for the Suppression of Mendicity. 

" The transition state from an agricultural village 
to the fashionable Tyburnia," writes Mr. Robins, 
"was no very agreeable time for the majority of 
those who lived in Paddington. When the cottages 
were swept away, and the heavy poor-rates which 
they had entailed were diminished, new burdens 
sprang up, scarcely less grievous. Rents became 
enormous; the Highway, Watching, and Lighting 
Rates were excessive ; and chese were rendered 
more oppressive, on account of those who received 
the greatest benefit from the causes which necessi- 
tated the greater expenditure not bearing their just 
share of this local taxation." 

On the north-west side of the parish is Kensal 
New Town, with its appendage of Kensal Green. 
Li his work already quoted, ^Ir. Robins writes: — 
"Kensell, or Kensale, comes, as I take it, from 
King's-field, In the Harleian MS. (No. 606, f. 
46 b.), the Green of this name is called Kellsell, 
and Kingefelde. In Mary's reign, we perceive by 
this document also that ' the Green Lane,' and 
' Kingefelde Green,' were the same place, x^nd as 
* the Green Lanes ' still exist — in name — we may 
ascertain with something like accuracy the situation 
of this field, or green, which formerly belonged to 
the king." Here is the best known of the London 
cemeteries. It occupies a considerable space of 
ground between the Grand Junction Canal and the 1 
North- Western Railway, and has its entrance lodge 
and gateway in the Harrow Road. The necessity 
of providing cemeteries out of town, though not as 
yet enforced by Parliament, was felt so keenly, that 1 
a company was formed in 1832, and fifty-six acres of 
ground at Kensal Green — then two miles distant i 
from the metropolis — were purchased, laid out, and I 
planted. And no sooner was the cemetery opened [ 
than the boon was eagerly embraced by the public, j 
and marble obelisks and urns began to rise among j 
the cj^presses in all the variety which heathen and 1 
classical allusions could suggest. In the course of 
the next five years other cemetery companies were j 

formed at Highgate, Norwood, Nunhead, Ike, and 
now we have in the suburbs of London some ten I 
or twelve humble rivals of the Pere la Chaise oi 
Paris. The Bishop of London, hov\'ever, opposed 
in Parliament the Bill for the formation of these! 
new cemeteries; and one of his archdeacons, a City] 
rector, wrote a pamphlet or a charge to prove tliat 
City churchyards v/ere rather healthy than other- 
Avise ! After overcoming all sorts of difficulties, 
the cemetery here was laid out on the principle of 
Pere la Chaise. The principal entrance is a noble 
erection of the Doric order, one wing of which 
forms the office, and the other the residence of tlie 
superintendent. Against the northern boundary 
wall, and parallel with the Episcopal Chapel, is a 
small colonnade, and beneath this are the old or 
original catacombs. Every space in these vaults 
has been long since occupied, but the same care, 
it may be remarked, is neverdieless observable, on 
the part of the company, to preserve them in that 
orderly condition which is observable in the more 
recent interments. The extensive colonnades and 
chambers for the erection of tablets to the memory 
of persons whose remains are resting in the cata- 
combs below, are spots where the visitor to the 
cemetery may find an almost endless number of 
subjects for meditation. The names of statesmen, 
soldiers, poets, and philosophers, are inscribed side 
by side on the sculptured slabs which adorn the 
walls. In a notice of it, printed in 1839, Kensal 
Green Cemetery is described as "a flourishing 
concern; the original ^£2^ shares being already at 
;^52." Here are buried the Duke of Sussex, 
Sydney Smith, Sir W. Beatty (Nelson's surgeon), 
Sir Anthony Carlisle, Dr. Valpy, Anne Scott and 
Sophia Lockhart, daughter of Sir Walter Scott and 
John Hugh Lockhart, his grandson, the " Hugh 
Little-John " of the " Tales of a Grandfather ; " 
Thomas Hood, Liston, Ducrow, Madame Vestris ; 
Calcott, Daniel], and - Mulready, the painters ; 
William C. Macready, Allan Cunningham, J. C. 
Loudon, William INIakepeace Thackeray, Shirley 
Brooks, John Leech, the well-known comic artist ; 
John Cassell, and many other men of mark ; 
indeed, Kensal Green may now be called the 
'•' God's Acre " of London celebrities, a character, 
however, which it divides to some extent with 
Norwood, Highgate, and Nunhead Cemeteries. • 
The Princess Sophia also is buried here. Why 
his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex chose 
this spot for his last resting-place is told by J\lr. 
Mark Boyd, in his "Social Sketches :"—" At 
the funeral of \Villiam IV. there was so much of 
delay and confusion, and so many questions of 
etiquette and precedence broke out, that the duke 



remarked to a friend, 'This is intolerable. Now, 
recollect what I say to you. If I should die before 
I return to Kensington, see I am not buried at 
Windsor; as I would not be buried there after 
this fashion for all the world.'" It was at first 
proposed that Thackeray should be buried in the 
Temple Church, where lie the ashes of Goldsmith, 
whom he so tenderly censured in his " Lectures on 
the Humorists ; " but after consultation with his 
relatives, it was deemed better that he should be 
laid to rest with his own family at Kensal Green. 
Accordingly, on December 30th, 1863, a bright, 
balmy day, almost like spring, Thackeray was here 
consigned to his last rest, being followed to the 
grave by his friends Dickens, A. Trollope, Mark 
Lemon, Theodore Martin, G. H. Lewes, Robert 
Bell, Millais, Robert Browning, George Cruick- 
shank, John Leech, and Shirley Brooks. 

Leigh Hunt, too, lies buried here. His grave 
was for years without a stone, or any other dis- 
tinguishing mark, until, througli the advocacy of 
INIr. Samuel Carter Hall, in the columns of the 
Art Journal, a subscription was set on foot, 
and in 1S74-75 a monument was erected to 
the poet's memory. We may mention also the 
names of George Dyer, the historian of Cam- 
bridge ; Thomas Barnes, the " Thunderer " of the 
Times ; Dr. Birkbeck, the founder of Mechanics' 
Institutions ; John Murray, the publisher ; and the 
famous George Robins, the auctioneer, of whom 
we have already spoken in our account of Covent 
Garden. The following lines, though of a mock- 
heroic character, which have been handed down 
respecting him, servo to show that he was regarded 
in his day as a typical personage : — 

" High in a hall, by curious listeners fill'd, 

Sat one whose soul seem'cl steeped in poesy ; 

So bland his diction, it was plain he will'd 
His hearers all should prize as high as he 

The gorgeous works of art there plac'd around. 
The statues by the Phidian chisel wrought : 
Endymion, whom Dian lov'd distraught ; 

Diau herself, Laocoon serpent-bound ; 

The pictures touch'd by Titian and Vandyke, 
With rainbow pencils, in the which did vie 
Fair fomi and colour for the mastery ; 

\\'arm"d his discourse till ear ne'er heard the like. 

' Who is that eloquent man?' I asked one near. 

' That, sir? that's Mr. Robins, auctioneer.' " 

Besides those whose names we have mentioned, 
there are also buried here the Right Hon. Joseph 
Planta, Sir George Murray, Sir Edward Hyde East, 
Sir John Sinclair, Chief Justice Tindal, the Marquis 
of Thomond, the Bishops of St. David's (Dr. 
Jenkinson) and Quebec (Dr. Stewart), and a very 
large number of the aristocracy. 

The practice of burying the dead in cities is of 
necessity injurious to the public health ; and it is 
strange that, in a city like London, where no 
expense has been spared in promoting sanitary 
measures, it should so long have been permitted 
and tolerated. It was a custom of very early 
antiquity to attach burying-grounds to Christian 
churches, though both the Jews of old and the 
heathen Romans buried their dead in caves and 
tombs by the road-side, as shown by the constant 
inscription of " Siste Viator," instead of " Sacred 
to the Memory of" But when streets and whole 
towns grew up around these consecrated spots, the 
public convenience and decency could not fail to 
suggest the expediency of having the depositories 
of the dead at a distance from the dwellings of the 
living. Accordingly, most Continental cities have 
their cemeteries in the suburbs ; but the servile 
adherence of our people to ancient customs, even 
when shown to be bad, kept up this loathsome 
practice in the midst of our dense population until 
some twenty years after the accession of Queen 
Victoria, when many of the City churches, and 
some at the West End aJso, were little better than 
charnel-houses; and their dead increased in numbers 
so rapidly that one sexton started the question 
whether he might not refuse to admit an iron 
coffin into a church or churchyard, because in that 
case the deceased took a fee-simple in the ground, 
which ought to be granted him only for a term of 
years ! It is perhaps a matter of complaint that it 
has never entered into the contemplation of the 
Legislature, or even of an individual, to form a 
general and extensive cemetery in the suburbs of 
the metropolis. 

Although perhaps not actually within the limits 
of Paddington, we may add that a plot of ground 
on the west side of the cemeter}', nearer Willesden, 
was, about the year i860, secured by the Roman 
Catholics of London as a place of burial. Among 
the earliest who were interred here was Cardinal 
Wiseman, who, as we have already stated,* died 
at his residence in York Place, Baker Street, in 
Februar}-, 1865. The body of the cardinal Avas 
taken first to the chapel of St. Mary, Moorfieids, 
where part of the service was celebrated, after 
which the funeral cortege^ of considerable length 
and imposing appearance, passed on its way hither, 
through the streets of London. 

Beyond the cemetery there is but Httle of 
interest to note in this part of Paddington. An 
old tavern once stood here, called ''The Plough," 
of which Faulkner, in 1S20, says: — '• It has been 

• See Vol. IV., p. 422. 



built upwards of three hundred years. The timber 
and joists, being of oak, are still in good preserva- 
tion." George Morland, the painter, was much 
pleased with this then sequestered and quiet place, 
and spent much of his time here towards the close 
of his life, surrounded by those rustic scenes which 
his pencil has so faithfully and so ably delineated. 
In the same neighbourhood, apparently, resided 
Robert Cromwell, a near relative of Oliver, the 

and the collections at an annual charity-sermon." 
This public day-school for poor children was one 
of the first established in the outskirts of London. 
The building, which was capable of accommodating 
only one hundred children, was erected on land 
said to have been given by Bishop Compton. In 
1822, new school-rooms were built on a part of 
Paddington Green, on a spot which was formerly 
known as the " town pool." Since the above 

THE "plough" at KENSAL GREEN, 1S2O. 

Protector. At all events, in the register of burials 
at Kensington, under date 1691, is an entry of 
" Cromwell," the " reputed " son of Robert Crom- 
well, of Kensal Green, and of Jane Saville, his 

In the matter of education, it is only within the 
last few years that Paddington appears to have 
made much progress. A Sunday-school, in connec- 
tion with the parish church, was established here 
during the last century; but it was not till the 
beginning of this that any public means of instruc- 
tion existed for the children of the poor on week- 
days. Lysons, in his " Environs of London," tells 
us that " a charity-school for thirty boys and thirty 
giris was established in the parish in 1802," and 
that it was " supported by voluntary contributions, 

period, in consequence of the altered condition of 
Paddington, the parish has gone on increasing in 
the number of its schools, so that now it may 
doubtless claim to be on as good a footing as any 
other parish in the metropolis. A large Board 
School was opened in the neighbourhood of the 
Edgware Road in 1874-5. 

We have already mentioned the naming of some 
of the streets and terraces after various bishops of 
London ; one or two others, however, still remain 
to be spoken of. For instance, Tichborne Street, 
a turning out of the Edgware Road, although not 
built so far back as the reign of Henry VIII., 
reminds us of one "Nicholas Tychborne, gent., 
husband of the second daughter and co-heir of 
Alderman Fenroper;" and of "Alderman Tich- 

Padding ton.] 


bourn," one of Cromwell's peers and King Charles's 

Praed Street preserves the memory of a banker 
of that name, one of the first directors of the 
Grand Junction Canal Company. This street 
connects Edgware Road with the Great Western 
Railway Terminus and Hotel. The latter is a 
magnificent building, and was one of the first con- i 
structed on the "monster" principle in connection i 

to connect the seaport of Bristol and the great 
towns of the south-west with London. The original 
estimate for the construction of the railway was 
^2,500,000, or about ^39,000 a mile. The line 
was constructed on that known as the " broad 
gauge," and the engineer was Mr. I. K. Brunei, son 
of Isambard Brunei. This estimate, however, was 
largely exceeded, the directors accounting for it 
by stating "that it is accounted for by the intended 


with the railway terminus, with which it has com- 
munication by a covered passage. The edifice in 
itself comprises five separate floors, containing in 
all upwards of one hundred and fifty rooms, the 
chief of which are large and lofty, and beautifully 
ornamented ; the designs generally, in the Louis 
Quatorze style, were executed by Mr. Philip Hard- 
wick, R.A., and the pediment upon the front is 
surmounted by a piece of allegorical sculpture. 
The Great Western Railway line, which communi- 
cates with the west and extreme south-west of 
England, is situated close to and below the level 
of the terminal wharf of the Paddington branch 
of the Grand Junction Canal. The Act of in- 
corporation, under which this line was formed, was 

passed in the vear 18' 

and it was intended 

junction with the Birmingham line at Acton." In 
1S3S the railway was open only to ^laidenhead ; 
to Twyford in 1839 ; in the following year to 
Faringdon Road; and in 1841 it was completed 
to Bristol. It was at first proposed that this 
line should be connected with the London and 
Birmingham Railway at Kensal Green ; but some 
obstacles having arisen to the satisfactory arrange- 
ment of this plan between the two companies, the 
intention was ultimately abandoned, and the Great 
Western Railway had an independent terminus 
erected here. To effect this it was necessar}' to 
construct about two and a-half miles of additional 
railway, while the total distance to be travelled 
would be lessened by about three miles. The 
Box Tunnel, on this line, is upwards of 3,000 yards 



[Underground London. 

in length. The various Hnes and branches now 
included in the Great Western system compreliend 
about 2,000 miles of railway. 

The station itself, which, with its numerous de- 
parture and arrival platforms, offices, engine-sheds, 
and workshops, covers several acres of ground, is 
built close up to the hotel. Its chief feature, from 
an architectural point of view, is its triple-spanned 
roof of glass and iron, which, having been erected 
shortly after the Great Exhibition of 185 1, may be 
said to have been one of the first adaptations of 
that principle of construction upon a gigantic scale ; 
and it is almost needless to add that it has since 
been copied, more or less exactly, at almost all 
the large railway stations of the metropolis. The 

length of this building of glass is 263 yards, its 
breadth is 93 yards, and the central span of the 
roof is no less than 70 feet in height. 

As an instance ot the improvement made in 
travelling since the days of George I., we may 
mention that, whereas in 1725 the stage-coach 
journey from London to Exeter occupied four 
long summer days, the express train on tlie Great 
Western Railway now accomplishes the distance 
in little more than four hours. In those good old 
days, as we learn from letters still preserved in 
families of the west country, the passengers were 
roused each morning at two o'clock, started at 
three, dined at ten, and finished their day's journey 
at three in the afternoon ! 



" Thus far into the bcnvels of the land 
Have I rode on." 

Proposal of a Scheme for Underground Railways— Difficulties and Oppositions it had to encounter— Commencement of the Undertaking — 
Irruption of the Fleet Ditch — Opening of the Metropolitan Railway — Influx of Rills to Parliament for the Formation of other Underground 
Lines — Adoption of the " Inner Circle" Plan— Description of the Metropolitan Railway and its Stations — The " Nursery-maids' Walk " — A 
Great Triumph of Engineering Skill — Extension of the Line from Moorgate Street — The East London Railway — Engines and Carriages, and 
Mode of Lighting — Signalling — Ventilation of the Tunnel — Description of the Metropolitan District Railway — \Vorkmen's Trains — The 
Water Supply and Drainage of London— Subways for Gas, Sewage, and other Purposes. 

As we are now at Paddington, which is the 
common centre of three railways, and, in a certain 
sense, was the birth-place of tlie Great Western and 
the Metropolitan lines, it may be Avell to descend 
the steps which lead to one of the platforms of the 
latter company, and to ask our readers to ac- 
company us, mentally, of course, in a "journey 

The overcrowding of the London streets, and the 
consequent difficulty and danger of locomotion, 
had been for many years a theme of constant 
agitation in the metropolis. Numberless plans 
were propounded for the relief of the over-gorged 
ways in connection with the vehicular circulation 
of the streets. New lines of streets were formed, 
and fresh channels of communication were opened; 
but all to little purpose. The crowd of omnibuses, 
cabs, and vehicles of all descriptions in our main 
thoroughfares remained as dense and impassable 
as ever. At length it was proposed to relieve 
the traffic of the streets by subterranean means; 
and in the end a scheme was propounded " to 
encircle the metropolis widi a tunnel, which was to 
be in communication with all the railway termini 
— whether northern, or eastern, or western, north- 
western, or south-vx-estern — and so be able to 

convey passengers from Avhatever part of the 
country they might come to whatever quarter of the 
town they might desire to visit, without forcing them 
to traverse the streets in order to arrive there." 

'' Such a scheme," writes a Avell-known author, 
" though it has proved one of the most successful 
of modern times, met with the same difficulties 
and oppositions that every new project has to 
encounter. Hosts of objections were raised ; all 
manner of imaginary evils were prophesied ; and 
Mr. Charles Pearson, Uke George Stephenson 
before him, had to stand in that pillory to wliich 
all public men are condemned, and to be pelted 
with the missiles which ignorance and prejudice 
can always find ready to their hands. The project 
was regarded with the same contempt as the first 
proposal to light our streets with gas ; it was the 
scheme of a 'wild visionary:' and as Sir Humphrey 
Davy had said that it would require a mound of 
earth as large as Primrose Hill to weigh down the 
gasometers of the proposed new gas-works, before 
London could be safely illuminated by the destruc- 
tive distillation of coal, so learned engineers were 
not wanting to foretell hoAV the projected tunnel 
must necessarily fall in from the mere weight of 
the traffic in the streets above ; and how the 



adjacent houses would be not only shaken to their i 

foundation by the vibration caused by the engines, 
but the families residing in them would be one and 
all poisoned by the sulphurous exhalations from 
the fuel with which the boilers were heated."' ' 

After years of hard work and agitation, confi- 
dence in the undertaking at length gained ground, I 
and the scheme was set on foot about the year 
i860. The Great Western Railway, with the view ' 
of obtaining access for their traffic to the City, 
came forward with ^200,000 as a subscription to 
the enterprise ; while the Corporation of the City ' 
of London, finding that the new lines of streets 
were comparatively useless as a means of draining 
off the vehicles from the main thoroughfares, also 
agreed to subscribe a similar sum to ensure the 
accomplishment of the object. Up to this time 
the shares in the undertaking had been at a low 
discount ; and the low price, indeed, continued 
even after both the City and the Great AVestern 
Company had subscribed. The shares gradually 
attained higher prices as the prospects of opening 
the line increased ; but after the opening they 
rose so rapidly as to promise an enormous return 
to the promoters. 

From a brocJiure, entitled "The Metropolitan 
Railway," published in 1865, we learn that 
" during the construction of the Underground line, 
the meandering stream of the Fleet ditch had to be 
crossed at least three times, before its cloacinal 
flood was diverted from its previous course. Bell- 
mouthed tunnels had to be made, so as to bring 
two subterranean borings into one ; and stations, 
which were merely enormous cellars built deep 
underground, had to be illuminated by the light : 
of day. Moreover, new forms of engines and 
carriages had to be designed — engines which 
would evolve neither smoke nor steam, and 
carriages which could be lighted by gas, so that 
the usual unpleasant atmosphere and obscurity of 
railway tunnels might be avoided. Further, it was 
necessary to devise a special system of signals in 
connection with the line, upon which it was in- 
tended that train after train should succeed one 
another, with but a few minutes' intervals, through- 
out the day." In spite of a variety of difficulties, 
including an irruption of the Fleet ditch in the 
neighbourhood of King's Cross, the permanent way \ 
was opened for passenger traffic from Paddington 
to Farringdon Street on the loth of January, 1863. 
It was calculated that over 30,000 persons were ' 
carried over the line in the course of the day. 
Indeed, the desire to travel by this line on the i 
opening day was more than the directors had pro- 
vided for, and from nine o'clock in the morning till ^ 

past midday it was impossible to obtain a place in 
the up or Cityward line at any of the mid-stations. 
In the evening the tide turned, and the crowd at 
the Farringdon Street station was as great as at the 
doors of a theatre on the first night of some popular 
performer. At first the directors of the Great 
Western undertook the management of the line, 
but such differences soon arose between the two 
companies that, some seven months afterwards, 
the Great Western directors gave notice that in 
two months they would cease to continue their 
carriages upon it, and on the ist of August follow- 
ing they reduced the notice as to their secession 
from the management of the line to ten days. In 
the short interval left to the Metropolitan Com- 
pany to undertake the conduct of the traffic, 
engines and carriages had to be hired from what 
other railway companies were able and willing to 
supply them. Accordingly, on the loth of August, 
1S63, the Metropolitan Company commenced work- 
ing the line themselves, and have since continued 
to do so. " The traffic, indeed, by tlie Under- 
ground Railway," says the writer of the above- 
mentioned work, " is of so special and peculiar a 
character as to cause it to differ totally from all 
other railways, and to make it require a distinct 
management. The attention of the authorities in 
connection with large systems of railways is devoted 
chiefly to what is called the ' long-traffic ' element ; 
whereas, tlie Metropolitan — being essentially a 
* short-traffic ' line, and the numbers carried upon 
it being so great, as well as the trains so numerous 
throughout the day — needs an amount of care and 
continual supervision in its working, which could 
not possibly be given by the officers of those lines 
where trains are in the habit of succeeding one 
another at comparatively lengthened intervals. It 
is, therefore, much to the public advantage that 
the Underground Railway should be worked by 
the company itself, and that an organised staff of 
officials should be specially trained and maintained 
for the duty." 

So great was the success of the ^Metropolitan 
Railway, from the very day of its inauguration, 
that in the next session of Parliament there was 
such an influx of bills for the proposed formation 
of railway lines in connection with the new form of 
transit in the metropolis, that it was found that 
" nearly one-half of the City itself would have to 
be demolished if the majority of the plans were 
carried out, and that almost every open space of 
ground or square in the heart of the metropolis 
would have to be given up for the erection of 
some terminus, with its screaming and hissing 
locomotives. The consequence was that a Com- 




lid LonJun. 

mittee of the two Houses was formed to take the 
'Whole of the metropolitan schemes into considera- 
tion, as well as to determine what general plan 
should be adopted, in order to unite together the 
various threads of the railway lines converging 
towards the capital, and forming the principal 
fibres of that great web of iron highways which 
had been spun over the country since the opening 
of the Liverpool and Manchester line in 1S30. 
Accordingly^ after deliberating for some time upon 
the matter, the Legislature came to the determina- 
tion to adopt what is now known as the ' inner 
circle' plan of Mr. Fowler (the engineer of the line 
of which we are treating), and to recommend the 
carrying out of an ' outer circle ' also." 

On the first opening of the Underground Railway 
the line extended only from Bishop's Road, Pad- 
dington, to Farringdon Street ; and in the course 
of a twelvemonth the number of passengers by it 
amounted to nearly 9,500,000, or, in round num- 
bers, more than three times the entire population 
of the capital; but this number was almost doubled 
in the course of two years. Since the extension 
of the line, which we shall presently notice, the 
number of passengers who have availed them- 
selves of this means of transit has amounted to 
nearly fifty millions annually. 

The number of trains running upon this line is 
about 350 on week days, and 200 on Sundays; 
and they travel at intervals of five to ten minutes, 
between the hours of 5.15 a.m. up to midnight. 

The original terminal point of this railway, as we 
have stated above, was at Bishop's Road. The 
station here adjoins the terminus of the Great 
AVestern line, and there is a covered way for pas- 
sengers leading from the one station to the other. 
Between Bishop's Road and Edgware Road the 
Underground Line, being extended westward, now 
takes a semi-circular sweep round the western 
extremity of London, by way of Notting Hill Gate, 
Kensington, Sloane Square, and Westminster, and 
so on by a tunnel along the Victoria Embankment 
to Blackfriars and the Mansion House Station in 
Cannon Street. 

Passing eastward from Bishop's Road, the line, 
in the course of half a mile, reaches the Edgware 
Road Station, where are workshops for the repair of 
the company's engines and carriages. Unlike most 
of the stations on this route, that at Edgware Road 
has the advantage of being open and above ground. 
From Edgware Road another half-mile or so of 
tunnel eastward brings the passenger to the Baker 
Street Station. The entrances to this station are in 
Baker Street, on cither side of the Marylebone Road, 
broad tliglils of stairs leading down to the plat- 

forms ; this part of the station, with the line itself, 
being immediately under the roadway. Great in- 
genuity is displayed in the construction of this 
station, for although so deep underground, it enjoys 
the advantage of daylight, which is made to glance 
down from the roadway above through long shafts 
lined with white glazed tiles. From Baker Street 
a branch line of the Underground Railway conveys 
passengers northward, by St. John's "Wood and 
Marlborough Road Stations, to the Swiss Cottage, 
within a few minutes' walk of the outskirts of 
London, and a short distance of the breezy heights 
of Hampstead. 

Resuming our course towards the City, the next 
station from Baker Street, which is reached through 
another tunnel about half a mile long, is at Port- 
land Road, near the top of Portland Place. This 
is at what is called the " summit-level " of the line, 
and two large circular openings have been con- 
structed over the line for the purpose of ventila- 
tion. Smaller openings for the ventilation of the 
tunnel have been made between other stations. 
Large numbers are conveyed to this station, on 
their way to the Regent's Park and the Zoological 
Gardens. " It is a peculiarity of this district," 
says the author above quoted, '' that, between the 
semi-circular enclosure of Park Crescent and the 
quadrangular space within Park Square, a tunnel 
under the New Road has been for a long time in 
existence, as a means of uniting the two enclosures. 
This was familiarly known as the ' Nursery-maids' 
Walk,' and was the means by which the children 
of the residents in Park Crescent could avail them- 
selves of the extra accommodation afforded them 
by the enclosure of Park Square ; and such was 
the resistance offered by the inhabitants of this 
part to the progress of the railway, that ascending 
and descending gradients, to the extent of i in 100, 
had to be introduced, so as to carry the line under 
this subterranean thoroughfare, for the benefit of 
the nursery-maids and children of this highly- 
genteel neighbourhood." 

From Portland Road the line is continued, by a 
tunnel rather under half a mile long, to Gower 
Street. The station here is very similar in con- 
struction to that of Baker Street, being originally 
lighted by the reflection afforded by white glazed 
tiles from the roadway above. Since its con- 
struction, however, it has been opened up very 
much to the upper air with very decided advantaL' 
both to its light and ventilation. This is a coii 
venient outlet for the country immigrants arrivini' 
at the Euston Square Station of the London and 
North-Western Railway ; and it is also available 
for those residing in the densely-populated district 

Underground London.] 



of Tottenham Court Road. A tunnel, three- 
quarters of a mile in length, next brings the pas- 
senger to King's Cross Station, which is one of the 
finest in point of construction of any on the line ; 
the roof especially is worthy of notice, for the 
length and proportion of its span. Within the 
station itself, the up and down lines from the Great 
Northern and Midland Railway enter the King's 
Cross Station, and thence to Farringdon Road 
pass through a separate tunnel nmning parallel with 
the Metropolitan line. In the formation of this 
second tunnel immense engineering difficulties had 
to be met, and were successfully accomplished, the 
union of the two tunnels being effected upon the 
" bell-mouth " principle, similar to that between 
Edgware Road and Bishop's Road. The Midland 
Railway, as we shall hereafter see, when we come 
to Camden Town, was carried out by a triumph of 
engineering skill, under the Grand Junction Canal. 
Shortly before reaching King's Cross, the great 
Fleet sewer crosses both the junction lines ; and 
during the construction of the aqueduct through 
which it was ultimately to pass, it was necessary 
that the sewage should not be interrupted for a 
moment ; moreover, in addition to the difficulties 
connected with such a work, it may be stated that 
the whole of the sewage had to be conducted 
under the roadway; it now passes through an 
immense wrought-iron tube, some dozen feet in 
diameter, bedded in brickwork. 

The line, on leaving King's Cross, takes a curve 
in a southerly direction, and shortly afterwards 
passes under the Fleet ditch a second time, by a 
short piece of tunnelling, and then, after passing 
through an open cutting, and another tunnel about 
half a mile in length, the line passes under a bridge, 
which serves as a viaduct to Ray Street, Clerken- 
well, and carries the traffic over the railway. 
Once more the line passes under the Fleet ditch; 
the contents of this, which is within the station- 
yard of Farringdon Road, are conveyed across 
the line in one span in a capacious wrought-iron 
tube, and in the formation of the line at this point 
considerable difficulty W26 experienced in conse- 
quence of the sewer on two or three different 
occasions bursting its bounds, and thereby greatly 
impeding the progress of the work. Close by 
this sewer is another bridge for carrying the traffic 
over the railway ; it is constructed mainly of iron, 
and was built in 1875-6, in order to form part of 
the new direct thoroughfare which is designed to 
connect Oxford Street with Old Street, St. Luke's. 

It should be stated here that shortly before 
emerging into the light of day at Farringdon Street, 
the tunnel of the Midland and Great Northern 

lines is made to dive from north-east to south-west 
under that of the Metropolitan, which here is some* 
thirty feet below the surface, revealing the fact that 
" even in tne lowest depths there is a lower still," 
and displaying one of the greatest triumphs of the 
engineers' art to be seen in the neighbourhood of 
London. This gigantic "tunnel under another 
tunnel " was carried into effect without the stoppage 
of a single train on the Metropolitan Railway. 
The illustration on page 229 represents the passage 
of a Metropolitan train over the Great Northern 
and Midland lines near Farringdon Road Station. 

Farringdon Road Station is very spacious, and, 
with the goods depot of the Great Northern Rail- 
way, cover a large space of ground between the 
main road and Turnmill Street. This station was 
at first the utmost limit of the line Citywards ; but 
by degrees the railway has been gradually extended 
eastward, the intention of the Metropolitan being 
ultimately to form a connection with the other end 
at the Mansion House Station. After leaving 
Farringdon Road the line passes, by means of a 
short tunnel, under the Metropolitan Meat Market 
at Smithfield, and then, after once more coming- 
into daylight, enters the large and well-built station 
of Aldersgate Street, the lines being duplicated. 
Here there is a junction of the main line with that 
of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, 
which passes under Smithfield, then on under Hol- 
born Viaduct, and so on to Ludgate Hill in its way 
southward. From Aldersgate Street, the Metro- 
politan Railway continues by a short tunnel and 
an open cutting on to Moorgate Street, which was 
for some time the farthest extent of the line in this 
direction. In 1S75 the line was continued to 
Liverpool Street, where it forms a junction with 
the Great Eastern Railway; and in November, 
1876, the line was further extended to Aldgate. 
After passing under Finsbury Circus towards the 
Bishopsgate Station in Liverpool Street, the railway * 

tunnel is carried between the chapel of St. I\Iary's, 
]Moorfields, and Finsbury Chapel, and in the con- 
struction of this portion of the line considerable 
engineering difficulties had to be surmounted. 

In the meantime, other subterranean works in 
connection with the modern system of locomotion 
had been going on farther eastward ; and by this 
means the northern and south-eastern hemispheres 
of London, so to speak, have been banded together 
by the iron girdle of the East London Railway, 
which, passing on through Whitechapel and Shad- 
well, and then through the old Thames Tunnel to 
Rotherhithe and Deptford Road, terminates at New 
Cross, where it joins the Brighton line. 

Throughout the whole length of the various 



[Underground London. 

systems of Underground Railways, it may be 
safely asserted that the works are signal instances 
of modern engineering skill and ingenuity. The 
rails on the ]\Ietropolitan Line were originally laid 
on the mixed-gauge principle, the rails themselves 
having steeled surfaces given to them ; but these 
being found to be not of a very durable character, 
were gradually replaced with others of solid steel, 
which, although much more costly to lay down, 

whilst the second and third classes carry as many 
as eighty persons respectively, and very frequently 
more. The mode of lighting the carriages is by 
gas, which is carried in long india-rubber bags, 
within wooden boxes, arranged on the tops of the 
carriages, and extending from one end to the other 
of each set of vehicles composing the train. " These 
gas bags," says the writer of the work above re- 
ferred to, " are weighted on the top, and, as the 


have been found to be more lasting, and conse- 
(juently cheaper in the end. Within the last few 
years, the broad-gauge rails have been taken up, 
and only the narrow-gauge is now used. 

So far as the engines and carriages are con- 
cerned, but little need be said here. The former 
are fine, powerful machines, specially designed by 
Mr. Fowler, the engineer-in-chief; and they are 
arranged either to exhaust the steam through the 
chimney in the ordinary way, or else to condense 
it in tanks which are placed on cither side of the 
engine, and contain i,ooo gallons of water — a 
supply suftkient for the double journey. The 
carriages are extremely large and roomy vehicles, 
the united bodies being no less than forty feet long. 
The first-class carriages are luxuriously fitted up, 
and are constructed to carry sixty passengers ; 

weights descend, an indicator, at the side of each 
box, points either to E or F, to show how near 
the india-rubber reservoirs are to being either evipty 
ox full. The jets in the carriages are supplied by 
means of a gas-pipe in communication with the 
bags on the roofs, and extending from the back ut' 
the vehicles themselves, while along the lower part 
of each portion of the train runs the ' main,' as it 
were, by which the bags are replenished from the 
gasometers established at either end of the line. 
The gasholders are kept charged with supplies from 
the neighbouring gas-works, and are so heavily 
weighted that the elastic bags along the top of the 
carriages can be filled (by means of * hydrants 
and flexible tubes in connection with the gas- 
holders) in the short space of two or three minutes. 
The light thus afforded to the nassengers is so bright 

Underground London.] 



as to utterly remove all sense ot travelling under- 
ground, and entirely dissipate that nervousness 
which the semi-obscurity of ordinary oil-lighted 
railway carriages gives to the sensitive during their 
transit through the tunnels on other lines." 

Railway News gives all that need be said on this 
subject : — 

" We will suppose," says the writer of a clever 
article upon " Underground Signals," in the publi- 
cation before mentioned, " the signal-man to be at 

From the rapid rate at which the trains are dis- '. Baker Street ; on the down line he will haveposses- 


patched one after the other on this line, it will be 
readily conceived that the system of signalling must 
be one of the greatest exactitude in order to ensure 
perfect safety. The system, however, is so simple, 
and at the same time so certain, as "to require no 
exercise of skill on the part of the signal-man, but 
rather to bring the official working them down to 
the level of the unerring machine upon which he 
has to operate." The following extract from the 

sion of the line to the Edgware Road Station, on 
the up line possession of the length to Portland 
Road Station. In the front of each dial there is 
an opening, in which appears, as the case may be, 
the words 'Line clear' on a white ground, or, 
' Train on line,' on a red ground. Below this are 
two keys, one red and one white, having over them 
corresponding words to those which appear in the 
opening on the face of the telegraph dial. Press 



rUiiderground London. 

the white key, and the words ' Line clear ' are 
shown on the instruments ; press the red key, and 
the words ' Train on Hne ' appear. There is no 
movement of needles to the one side or the other, 
which may be liable to be mistaken ; there is no 
sound of a bell, which may be misunderstood. 
The needle of the dial does not point to a com- 
munication which it wishes to make, but it carries 
on its back the actual message, and presents it to 
the sight of the person for whom it is intended. 

'• Let us see how this system is carried into actual 
practice. A passenger train is about to start from 
Edgware Road on the up-line. The signal-man 
presses down a key, which rings a bell at Baker 
Street to call attention. This bell has a conducting 
wire, entirely separated from that connected with 
the signalling instruments, so that no mistake can 
occur in the transmission of signals. The beats on 
the bell are made to describe the approaching train, 
whether it be a Metropolitan, Great Western, or 
Great Northern one. Having thus called attention, 
he presses down the red key, and at Baker Street 
is instantly shown the signal ' Train on line.' Baker 
Street replies by repeating the beats on the bell, and 
pegs down the key which corresponds to the signal 
shown. Edg^vare Road puts the signal to ' Danger,' 
to prevent any up-line train from following, and 
Baker Street keeps the signal pegged down until 
the train has not only reached him, but has actually 
passed out of the station. After the train has left 
Baker Street it is signalled on to Portland Road, 
just as it had previously been sent on from the 
Edgware Road. The Baker Street sends back to 
Edgware Road three beats on his bell, re-pegs his 
red key, presses down a white key, which shows 
* Line clear.' The signal is acknowledged, the white 
key pegged down by the signal-man at Edgware 
Road, who thus takes possession of the line up to 
Baker Street. When the train has left Portland 
Road Station, Baker Street is signalled to, just as 
Edgware Road had been, and the up-line is clear 
to the next station. And so the work goes on from 
station to station throughout the day, and trains 
may run with safety at intervals of two minutes, 
whereas, without these signals, it would not have 
been possible to run more frequently than every 
quarter of an hour." 

The question of ventilation of the Underground 
Railway gave rise to considerable discussion at the 
time of the formation of the line, and, indeed, long 
aftenvards, and various means were adopted by 
which that "vexed question" could be set at rest. 
Instead of the coal used on ordinary lines the com- 
pany have used coke made from the best and finest 
Durham coal, and burnt in the ovens for a very 

long time, in order to deprive it of every trace of 
sulphur and other objectionable exhalations. We 
have already seen how that the engines are specially 
constructed to exhaust the steam during the transit 
of the trains. By these means the engines may be 
said to "hold their breath,"' as it were, whilst 
travelling through these lower regions, and thus 
little or no foul sulphurous fumes are evolved from 
the chimney, nor waste steam discharged. One 
part of the line, nevertheless, from some cause or 
other, remained in which the foul air continued to 
cause annoyance and discomfort to passengers. 
This extended from the Portland Road to the 
Gower Street Station. Between these stations the 
arch of the railway tunnel is crossed nearly at right 
angles by the tube of the old Pneumatic Despatch 
Company. In a lucky moment the "happy thought" 
arose that this tube might be made subservient 
towards the removal of the foul air in the tunnel 
beneath, and the more efficient ventilation of the 
railway in its immediate vicinity. In 1874 this idea 
was most successfully worked out and practically 
applied in a very ingenious manner to the desired 
purpose by ]\Ir. De Wylde, the engineer to the 
Pneumatic Despatch Company, who was materially 
assisted in his labours by Mr. Tomlinson, the